Neural Quad Cortex

  • Back on topic slightly off topic update:


    I got the cortex with full intention of giving the guitar oriented piece of gear "the business" but on the side and not so secret, my mind was thinking i could have 32 effects blocks (no cabs, amp models or minimal captures plus or minus SOME reverbs) to use for my synths, and now I feel kinda dumb (much like a guitarist and drummer combined lmao) for thinking I could run that much modulation and effects ( maybe I can in the future) and not run into dsp limits.


    Still neat even that being the case.

  • Back on topic slightly off topic update:


    I got the cortex with full intention of giving the guitar oriented piece of gear "the business" but on the side and not so secret, my mind was thinking i could have 32 effects blocks (no cabs, amp models or minimal captures plus or minus SOME reverbs) to use for my synths, and now I feel kinda dumb (much like a guitarist and drummer combined lmao) for thinking I could run that much modulation and effects ( maybe I can in the future) and not run into dsp limits.


    Still neat even that being the case.

    They've got a firmware updating coming that improves DSP usage. So you will be able to use more in the future for sure.

  • Kemper has had great customer service since day one, if you used the proper channels. I don’t know how “personal“ it was, but any question that I ever had was answered quickly.


    I actually appreciated all those years when CK himself was scarce to nonexistent on the forums, here and on TGP. There’s something cloying about the owner of a business getting in his customers’ faces, rather than allowing them the freedom to express themselves, whether it’s to share positive experiences or frustrations.


    But the fact is, so many bits of misinformation about this device have been shared on such a regular basis, over so many years, and I guess it finally reached a bit of critical mass with the rabid fan base of an announced device that purported to do CK’s magic better than the original. Of course that’s at best debatable, but I can understand him becoming a bigger part of the conversation at this point.

    I don't know about all that really. Christophe has been in and out of forums since the unit released, helping people, correcting misinformation, guiding people. I don't think the QC has caused any more or less misinformation or opinionation.... er... that's not a word, but you know what I mean.


    I think I said it before, but in the last 10 years there has been some very impressive advances in machine learning, deep learning, and music-information-retrieval technology.


    If accuracy is the goal, you would certainly look at modern techniques and tools such as the variational auto-encoder. Here's a good video that gives a nice explanation:


    Here's another one:


    I've been experimenting with neural networks in recent months using Tensorflow and the Python programming language.


    Once you know a little bit about this stuff and when you look at technology used in software like Izotope's Neutron and Ozone.... you can start to see problems all over the place that you could address with some neural networks and a few data sets.

  • Well in the end, the QC didn't stick.


    Very good device. Very good tones. But it doesn't trounce everything out there. It's just another option we all have, that's it. But for me, in the end, I didn't really find it sounded that much closer to the real amps, although I do like how easy and simple it was to capture an amp. I'd love to see the Kemper get rid of the refinement stage altogether (I've never been able to make a profile without using it).


    QC has a long way to go when it comes to usability and functionality though. Simple things like using it in 4-cable-method with a valve amp, and controlling the channels via midi.... they've just not got that side of things licked.


    Nor has Kemper to be fair, but Kemper never claimed to be a monster unit that could do everything. It captures amps. It gives you some effects to use with those captures. End.


    In a way, the QC gave me more of an appreciation for my Kemper. Because time and time again I'd shoot them out against one another, and it was a coin-toss as to whether I preferred one or the other. I'm capable of hearing differences in a blind test between both units and the real amp. But when I come to any of the three options (Kemper, QC, real amp) and just play guitar.... I couldn't tell you that any of them was actually better to play than any of the others. They're all good. *shrug*



    Did anyone else get a QC and end up not bonding with it?

  • Did anyone else get a QC and end up not bonding with it?

    I preordered a QC as soon as it was available in Thomann. This was still at the end of 2020. It took several months to come and then I tried it for several weeks. At that point I already had my Diezel VHX and my Kemper, and several distortion and overdrive pedals. So I made some extensive testing with all my gear.


    In the end, all devices where very good, but the QC was not better in any way to the others. But it was worse in some basic aspects still deppending on future updates. So my decision was clear. Sell it while it was very scarce in the market, and save my money for maybe 3 years from now and see if it is offering something better. I think it will, but I am not going to be waiting while I can enjoy the Kemper with a lot more capabilities as it is now a very well rounded product.


    While I tried it, the price went up 250 euros on Thomann, so in the end, by selling it at current retail price I covered the difference in price (it feels like having earned my preorder rights, so in the future if I buy it again I will not be spending more than I preordered it for).



    Long story short, I think the QC will be a very good product in the future. Now it is nice but limited and of course at release it fell short to the expectations of "the most powerful device on earth that can run a complete band thru it". Maybe a VERY basic band.

  • As far as I can tell for all work above "serious"-level the kemper sits alone and lonely one the throne and nothing can touch it.It is just to established with all its reliability,support and the army of big names using it does the rest..


    If we said some 1-2 years ago that it is "industry standard" right now I have the feeling that most musicians/producers I know (not only guitar players) are just very relaxed waiting for what the kemper2 will bring into the future and expectations do vary about the innovations it will bring.Nevertheless the expectations are very high.


    But the neural plug ins do rock and everyone I know loves them specially the SLO.I know quite a bunch of folks who did very serious recordings with it.

  • But the neural plug ins do rock and everyone I know loves them specially the SLO.I know quite a bunch of folks who did very serious recordings with it.

    At this point there is no doubt that the plugins are here to stay and they are not "toys" anymore . Just recently an upcoming metal band that some of you might know, called Spiritbox, released they debut album. Completely recorded using the Archetype Nolly for the dirty sounds and Plini for some cleans.


    The album has gone to number 13 in Billboard 200, so I think that can be called very serious recording too.


    Mike Stringer, the guitar player, was previously using a Kemper live and now he uses the Quad Cortex.



  • Some of your older posts were of a totally different tenor though. I get it, new gear, but it always pays to be objective about these things even if you spend money on it. Otherwise you'll be fuelling the hype machine that goes along with some of these products.


    Not trying to point a finger, just glad you came clean after you had spent more time with the new toy! :saint:

  • Some of your older posts were of a totally different tenor though. I get it, new gear, but it always pays to be objective about these things even if you spend money on it. Otherwise you'll be fuelling the hype machine that goes along with some of these products.


    Not trying to point a finger, just glad you came clean after you had spent more time with the new toy! :saint:

    Hope your back isn't hurting too much fella!

  • At this point there is no doubt that the plugins are here to stay and they are not "toys" anymore . Just recently an upcoming metal band that some of you might know, called Spiritbox, released they debut album. Completely recorded using the Archetype Nolly for the dirty sounds and Plini for some cleans.


    The album has gone to number 13 in Billboard 200, so I think that can be called very serious recording too.


    Mike Stringer, the guitar player, was previously using a Kemper live and now he uses the Quad Cortex.

    That's the thing though, there's too many tone chasers with no songs. If you've got the songs then it doesn't matter what you use. Whether that's a cheapo Valeton GP100, Kemper or full tube amp + pedalboard setup.

  • Did anyone else get a QC and end up not bonding with it?

    As I said it before, I had the QC with me for a week, mind you it was not mine but a friend that has a big store in Guadalajara City. First it was really early after released, and second I was just one week under pandemic with it, so all the testing was at my home studio and had no chance for live usage.


    I might repeat myself, but the QC has some more high end than the kemper, and the High end gives it a HiFi´ish tone, which I guess some might confuse with clarity of the amp. I am pretty sure it was not there on the amp recording, its not there in the kemper, but was always there in the QC. That is what took me off from it (on QC defense, Kemper is still temperamental while getting the bass-mid section right)


    The second thing that I have no real way to mess with the amp (capture) as the kemper does, and that for me was the dealbreaker. Yes, it might be great at capturing, but once you feel the need to tweak down or up anything, you got only basic EQ controls. Definition? nope. Pick? nope. Tube shape/bias? nope. Clarity? Nope. Compression? Nope. And so on so forth.


    Effects? Subpar, If I had to choose, the king here is Fractal, seconded by Line6/Kemper, third place is QC.


    Those are my reactions, that of course might change with time and updates, but it has been 1 year, and no real progress, so I dont keep my hopes up.

  • Just allow me to close my participation with this:


    Neural has everything they need for a killer unit, and in theory QC is that unit. It was their archetype Plini that made me want to try the QC in the end, not the marketing (which to this day sounds ridiculous and misleading to me), nor the interface or design.


    Sound its of top importance. I did tried plini against several models, and nothing felt as close in dynamics, that part of the QC felt really underwhelming, and captures felt like a rushed feature with so few flexibility (for Gds sake, theres is barely 1 page worth in the manual explaining the feature).


    They produce quality material, and the QC its a great platform, I just hope it evolves into what it deserves to be. And then maybe I can GAS about it again.

  • The modeller/capture market is quite mature in some ways. The big players have been developing their code for 1 or2 decades. New hardware and new approaches are welcome but a relative newcomer to this space is unlikely to be able to compete feature by feature with the established players - Kemper/Fractal/Line6/Roland.


    Those guys all have specialist areas (eg the SY series synth, modelling and tuning possibilities are unparalleled elsewhere and have been evolving since the mid 90s - would love to see what Kemper could do in that area). The cost of entry to this market is getting steeper all the time. The same sort of barriers to entry apply in bigger industries - eg consumer electronics OS platforms and the automotive industry. It takes a big shift - like the move to electric cars or the move from desktop PCs to mobile platforms like iOS/Android to give newer players a chance to dominate.

  • I guess the QC wasn't quite the Kemper Slayer people talked about.


    TBH its great to hear the honesty on here and hence why I love this forum. There is less hype/bias than elsewhere and I always said I would wait to see what you guys thought.


    I think the QC will grow and continue to be a great unit, but its got a few years of R+D to catch up, regardless of its machine learning and muli instrument and pedal capture.

  • Research and Development

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