‘It just is my Inner Refusal’: Innovation and Conservatism in Guitar Amplification Technology

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


Advances in amplifier technology, be it transistor, modelling or digital simulation, have traditionally been rejected by recording guitarists. In 2011, Kemper GmbH introduced a new ‘profiling’ technology that promised to combine the best of both worlds, the authentic sound of an analogue valve amplifier with the functionality of a digital simulation. Guitarists and record producers reacted sceptically at first but gradually accepted the profiler. Using Rogers’ Diffusion of Innovation as a theoretical framework, this chapter analyses the affordances of guitar profiling technology for recording professionals and why their attitudes toward this technology have changed. Methodically, Kemper’s company website is studied with qualitative content analysis. Besides presenting the innovation, the website contains 57 written artist statements and 39 videos of professionals describing their encounter with profiling technology and its application in record production. The findings suggest that many professionals regard the profiler as a truly innovative and indispensable studio tool. Although analogue equipment is still preferred to a digital amplifier, most professionals have found ways to integrate it into an analogue environment. This gives them the best of both worlds without having to completely rethink their attitude towards digital guitar amplification.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationDistortion in Music Production
Subtitle of host publicationThe Soul of Sonics
EditorsGary Bromham, Austin Moore
Number of pages11
ISBN (Electronic)9780429356841
ISBN (Print)9780367405854, 9780367405878
Publication statusPublished - 12 Jun 2023

Publication series

NamePerspectives on Music Production


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