Kemper and Napster: Not Very Different

The Kemper profiling amp is receiving a lot of attention these days.  This high tech guitar amplifier is the world's first amp that copies the audio signature of guitar amplifiers and stores them digitally.  Sadly, it does a pretty good job.  It accomplishes this by using a microphone and a variety of frequency sweeps to record all the subtle audio characteristics of an amplifier.  

Make no mistake, the Kemper amp is not a modeling amp.  Modeling amps use algorithms and electronic circuits to simulate the sound of other guitar amps.  The Kemper profiling amp takes modeling amps to the next level by copying the intellectual property (IP) of other guitar amplifiers and storing it as a digital file.

It gets worse.  The IP of other guitar amplifiers are stored as a digital files in the Kemper amp which can easily be shared with other people using the Kemper amp.  This means you don't need to spend 4K on a high end amplifier.  All you need to do is buy the Kemper profiling amp and find the digital copy of your favorite amp on Kemper's website or somewhere else on the Internet.  The Kemper profiling amp can store thousands of dollars worth of guitar amplifiers and takes up as much space as a large toaster.

The folks in the UK have a law that says if you buy anything on the Internet, you can return it within 30 days for a full refund, no questions asked.  I know for a fact that guitar amp manufacturers are seeing an increased trend in returned stock for no apparent reason.  Is Kemper responsible for this?

How is this different than Napster?  We live in a strange guilt free economy where people, corporations, and even politicians think it's acceptable to steal things related to music.  If musician's don't make money, the quality of music will be greatly reduced.  If guitar amp manufacturers don't make money, we will see fewer guitar amps.

It's hard for me to accept this.  Technology and music are my main interests, but overall it seems like technology is hurting the music industry.   The Internet has solved the distribution problem that the music industry had before the 90s, but things like auto-tune, auto-groove, and Kemper profiling amps are technology daggers that contribute to the slow and steady death of new quality music.  Have you heard any new music that you liked recently?