Neural Quad Cortex

  • Just checking in, this thing slaps pretty hard and I'm enjoying. Real easy to dial in my tight high gain sounds with room to spare on the chain. Kinda wish there was a defintion control sometimes but that's because it's just so easy to turn one knob I think.

    Gonna try some profile and capture mismatching and see what happens.

    I have this idea of capturing cab and mic only captures and building a complex chain and then profiling That? It can get pretty crazy if you think about it. I'm sure there would be a significant downward slope of degradation of tonal quality of I just went from capturing a tweaked profile, then tweaked that capture and then profiling that lmaooooo

  • This is probably one of the reasons:…hips-reaches-crisis-point

    That could definitely be part of it. Generally speaking, no product manager likes to risk too high a production run if he/she isn't sure of the demand. This is especially difficult right now since even products that had paid orders are getting delayed by many months. My guess is that these guys buy in quantities of thousands, not even tens of thousands initially ..... making it even harder to get your stuff built (pretty small orders)

  • My guess is that these guys buy in quantities of thousands, not even tens of thousands initially ..... making it even harder to get your stuff built (pretty small orders)

    And you are probably right.

    The first tier preorder to mothership was of 1000, and the second one of another 1000. Thomann and Sweetwater where sent 500 units each for the first batch to retailers after the preorder.

  • at the moment I’m very happy to report my QC, is on it’s way back to Sweetwater . It’s just not ready for live use, in my eyes

    what exactly was it that didn't convince you?

    I am just curious for independent opinions (that the youtube influencers who got the unit for free or even got extra paid for it, would all give it a 10/10 or the like, was a story a bit too expectable...)

  • All of this and more, “Even the paid influencers mentioned, early on, ground noise, screen sluggishness (compared to what we’ve come to expect from say an iPhone), limited or subpar effects, dsp bottlenecks (despite powerful processors) and routing limitations“ Creative 360

    I found the modeled amps to be pretty blah with no life, same with there “captures”

    For me the captures it came with , we’re unusable, no Marshall’s, no Fenders. Just no everyday amps. I thought could live with the effects, but soon realized there are a few Kemper offerings, I do use

    Nice touch screen, but found the software somewhat confusing. The output routing was weird, no morph, buttons too close for live use

    One of the biggest thing, I couldn’t get around, was not being able to have a complete back up on a USB stick and only able to share captures via the cloud. In eleven yrs my Kemper only went down twice on a gig, and only once did I have to reload my settings. With QC What do you do on a gig?

    I just felt like they rushed this unit, just my humble opinion

  • The truth is always make up your own oponion. Never trust someone elses opinion. Sure they can be guideline but that's it. Second hand opinion is useless. Especially this days. Even if someone gets a free product, they feel an obligation to be nice and give something a better review than it deserves sometimes. If you're nice I feel I must be nice back. That's the human nature and in most cases that's only positive. But in the business world? Be aware of all traps and bs.

    Think for yourself, or others will think for you wihout thinking of you

    Henry David Thoreau

  • Lets not forget that this is a Kemper forum. The opinions would be radicaly different if this was a Neural DSP forum.

    I have been using a Kemper for 5 years and had all possible form factors Head, Rack, Stage, powered unpowered.

    I also use several high quality plugins, including Neural DSP ones and Helix Native (the plugin version that has the same features as the hardware units).

    I also own and have used several tube amps (the most recent, a Diezel VHX that really covers both the traditional real tube and the modern apponitments like presets, effects, IRs...etc).

    And I have also a Quad Cortex.

    My opinion on it is that it will be a great unit, but it is currently lacking in some vital features to really go against the best digital units.

    For live use the output options are going to be updated but right now it is not possible to have several outputs selected at one time, which for instance makes it impossible to have a separate output for monitoring and another one for FOH.

    Other important thing for live use is that there is a cut in sound between presets (this is normal in all modelers) so you have to use just one preset per song if you don't want the sound to be cut. That leaves you with the SCENE mode (like the snapshots in Helix) that works good but the amount of things you can load into a preset has some limits. Actually more limits that what they marketed(they told you could run a complete band thru it), but this will hopefully improve with firmware updates.

    The current effects are ok, but all the other units are way, way better in terms of variety and in some cases quality.

    But it all depends on what effects you like and use. For instance, the Pitch Shifter for single notes (not poly) in the Quad Cortex is the best I have tried yet. Way, way better than the Kemper transpose. It has almost no latency and keeps the real tone quite well.

    Flanger on the other side is kind of... terrible.

    The form factor is great. This is possible because the foot switches are pots and also you have the touch screen. Probably one of the best things of the unit. It is very portable, but also very powerful for it's size. At the same time the touch screen is far from being as responsive as any android phone or iPhone.

    USB audio is a nice feature, but not for serious musicians that will likely already have an audio interface working on their system and with monitors connected to it.

    In the end it's just easier to connect to the audio interface.

    On the other hand, lack of SPDIF is quite bad.

    Sound quality of the modeled amps depends on the model. Some are very good, some are mediocre. Not outstanding.

    I have not used the factory captures. No opinion.

    I have made some captures myself. I captured my Diezel VHX both with an IR and also DI. The complete amp+speaker sim sounds GREAT. Impossible to tell appart and very easy to make. A lot easier than creating a Kemper profile in my experience. The DI capture, without an IR is completely disappointing and sounds completely different from the amp. Unusable.

    I also made a capture of a Klon clon pedal I have. It did capture the tonal characteristics of the pedal. But failed to get the gain and the volume of the setting on the pedal, making the capture unusable (gain and volume on an overdrive are the key to get the amp react the way you want).

    The best thing about the capturing is that it has almost no variables, just input volume, and no tweaking. So it is very consistent. Profiling with the Kemper is not as consistent and can get great results or terrible results.

    I feel that with the QC there is going to be a lot of cooking in the captures world, the same way as in Kemper. And with time there will be great captures for sure.

    But currently the sharing software cloud system is TERRIBLE and the amount of available content is small and difficult to find.

    So, is the QC better than the Kemper? Currently a very easy NO. But if you need a small unit that can do a lot of things and you want dual amps, that the Kemper can't do... then you might think it si better.

    Over time I see that Neural DSP has a lot of room for improvement and I really see how it will be a real force on the model world. And it already is a market success with all the units sold out on any retailer.

    What could do Kemper to improve their current devices and match what the QC offers?

    -The touch screen they already have it covered with iPad app.

    -They would need to create a simplified profiling method. Maybe have two methods, traditional one and simple one without refining and consistent.

    -Release a smaller form factor unit.

    -More flexibility on the number of stomps or effect before or after the amp.

    -Dual/triple/cuadruple amps in paralel. Some people like to do this and the Kemper is not able to do it.

    -USB audio


    There's probably more to all this but, there you go. I tried to be the most objective possible.

    By the way I am currently using more and more the Diezel VHX than any of the modelers or plugins including the Kemper.

  • I would love to try a Diezel VHX. The VH4 is my favorite amp

    I think it is the future of tube amps. At least modern tube amps. And there's a market for them. There's a generation of players already spoiled because of the use of plugins and modelers. They want to have presets, onboard effects, be able to use with headphones, not need a cabinet, load IRs... But some might not like the modeling and want real tubes both on the preamp and power amp...

  • It feels kinda strange to not have too many complaints about the QC. I'm just getting on with it, and I'm getting the best "in the box" tones I've ever gotten. I see people's complaints and none of it rings true for me. Funny how our experiences can be so different. And my needs aren't simple blues rock stuff. I play in a post-rock/prog-metal band, and my patches are complex.

    I'm more than happy with the capturing tech. It sounds excellent. I bought a Suhr Loadbox IR so I could make captures. Previously I was using a DI box in between the amp and cab, but now I can do it in a more silent fashion.

    I've decided I'll keep my Kemper and Helix for the time being though. As there are loads of great things about all three units, and I'm not in a rush to sell, I can afford to be a gearnerd for a bit longer!

  • I don't think that there can be a profiling with the Kemper algorithm without refining and to be honest I don't get what people find complicated about that, it's a really simple process. I'm pretty sure, if there would be a generic test signal which could replace the refining completely than it would already be there. And if a generic test signal would get you not the same as the "original" refining process than people would complain that it is not spot on.

    Kemper is lacking USB and the QC is lacking a digital connection... I think USB gets useless if you have an audio interface where you definitely have more options what you can do with it. I know, people want to have the USB for the bedroom scenario and that's fine but if you want to do only just a bit more like connecting some additional studio speakers, microphones and so one an audio interface is needed anyway.

    And for the point of multiple process paths... I think it's now a problem if the Kemper will leave it's project path. They've decided for a long time that they build something stable in value. A unit from 2013 has around the same value nowadays. At some point they have to make a decision what they will do with the Kemper development. It's interesting cause if they will ever release a significantly different version and not only a different form factor the original version is more or less worthless. And also they would increase the support effort for everything. People who bought the original version would want to have support and development for their old unit and people with the new version also want to have the latest sh*t. In my personal opinion it is not an easy decision they have to make cause there will be the point in some years where the QC has grown up or other devices will follow, the market changes and most of the people who want to buy a Kemper already have a one (or two).

    But that's just my uneducated guess. :)

    And for the more QC related... does anyone know if they have made any statements about when they will have their plugin versions available for the QC? For me this was one of the main features which I found really interesting.

  • I don't think that there can be a profiling with the Kemper algorithm without refining and to be honest I don't get what people find complicated about that, it's a really simple process.

    It's not complicated. It's just difficult to get consistent results and there is a learning curve to it. Most professional profilers end having a particular guitar or guitars that gets them the best and most consistent results, and they also tend to repeat the same pattern of things they play while refining.

    But for someone trying to get their first profiles it is not easy to know if you should play chords, some single notes, do palm mutes because that is the style you play...

    In the end the Quad Cortex might get better or worse results, but it will certainly appeal to those looking for a simple capturing process.

    I play in a post-rock/prog-metal band, and my patches are complex.

    That style is what QC is more oriented to. By the people that use it and the people it is marketed to.

    I already told that some of the models where very good and others don't. The more metal/prog oriented models where nice for my taste and that is what I usually tend to use. But sometimes I want to practice something different and when I tried to dial in a Fender tone or a kind of Dumble tone (trying to match a tone from a youtube guitar lead tone) it was impossible. Tried all the Fender models in the QC, and even tried using an EQ module in the chain.

    It might be a problem with my lack of ability to tweak tones, but it really sounded awful all the time, too bassy even with bass at 0 on any of the models. Just bad.

    So for me it is a mixed review for the moment.