Neural Quad Cortex

  • Such a nice way to tell ourselves we are getting old (it is true tho), jajaja


    Most folks nowadays do even rock music with samples and vst drums, so I wonder if in the future, with MPE enabled instruments and the sort, would it be a matter of just having a instrument, your computer, interface and a TON of samples for doing just about anything. I mean, I get pretty convincing strings from most sample tracks I have tried, use vibrato with aftertouch in the pads or the keys of my novation sl mk3, and that was unheard of in the past.

  • Such a nice way to tell ourselves we are getting old (it is true tho), jajaja


    Most folks nowadays do even rock music with samples and vst drums, so I wonder if in the future, with MPE enabled instruments and the sort, would it be a matter of just having a instrument, your computer, interface and a TON of samples for doing just about anything. I mean, I get pretty convincing strings from most sample tracks I have tried, use vibrato with aftertouch in the pads or the keys of my novation sl mk3, and that was unheard of in the past.

    Exactly.


    As for my post above,I was thinking out loud.You said it much better what I tried to say.

  • I think what else is interesting here to me about low to mid gain sounds with the Kemper is what we can do after a profile. Lots of these older and boutique amps only have so much clarity and gain in them inherently. So all the things we we can do after the fact really give the potential for sounds, tones and dynamics that are not only impossible with the real amp but most likely impossible with any amp. Most I've seen that where dimed and maxed out only have a gain of around 5.0 and definition even less. By the time we add clarity more or less gain, an overdrive with the mix less than 100 percent, dry mix added in and all the other pick, compressor, tube bias/sagging/shape and cab shifts, it's a whole other level and realm of response, feel, dynamic and tones. One could even say this is the kempers sweet spot haha.


    So, say a guy just wants to sound like John Petrucci, especially with gainy neck pickup leads. FM9 or QC? I have a Kemper so it's not so important to compare...

  • So, say a guy just wants to sound like John Petrucci, especially with gainy neck pickup leads. FM9 or QC? I have a Kemper so it's not so important to compare...

    Hard to say. I'm not a lead tone person as far as being able to say what "really nails it". Most lead tones I've ever crafted for myself are really basic and I'm not too picky either. Same with cleans i think they are the easiest to obtain but i also have been lowering the neck pickup on all my guitars to be as low as possible lately. Mostly for cleans or a rolled back volume knob type of instant effect. Both the Fm9 and cortex i feel are really great units but I had to guess I'd say the Fm9 has the edge right now on lead tones. Both in the delay and reverb, and the ability to do deep Amp tweaks. But, the cortex with its captures also has a lot of tonal possibilities. You could stack your gain staging with multiple captures. To attempt to try to sum it in the tone department, maybe the fm9 is a little fatter and thick feeling more like a Kemper and the cortex maybe is a little bit more on the cleaner side of things even with high gain. It's just got this airy clean distortion kinda thing going on inherently I feel. It's really getting neck and neck here while at the same time they all have their own vibe and flavor.

  • Hard to say. I'm not a lead tone person as far as being able to say what "really nails it". Most lead tones I've ever crafted for myself are really basic and I'm not too picky either. Same with cleans i think they are the easiest to obtain but i also have been lowering the neck pickup on all my guitars to be as low as possible lately. Mostly for cleans or a rolled back volume knob type of instant effect. Both the Fm9 and cortex i feel are really great units but I had to guess I'd say the Fm9 has the edge right now on lead tones. Both in the delay and reverb, and the ability to do deep Amp tweaks. But, the cortex with its captures also has a lot of tonal possibilities. You could stack your gain staging with multiple captures. To attempt to try to sum it in the tone department, maybe the fm9 is a little fatter and thick feeling more like a Kemper and the cortex maybe is a little bit more on the cleaner side of things even with high gain. It's just got this airy clean distortion kinda thing going on inherently I feel. It's really getting neck and neck here while at the same time they all have their own vibe and flavor.


    Thanks for the comparison! That's good to hear.


    TBH it is Kemper's profiling and relatively limited tweakability that has me looking at modelers, so QC's captures are less enticing to me unless the tone is just leagues above.

  • I've only tried the Kemper and Axe FX, and I feel that the small differences we hear and feel can be ameliorated with some tweaking.


    It should definitely not be overlooked: there are so many parameters that require deep diving that many of us don't even touch them simply because we don't hear what they're doing.


    I would love to try a QC, but I am going to hold off for a long time till I can pick up one used for a reasonable price, or when I hear them doing something that I couldn't expect.


    But as a Kemper, Axe and amp user, I would really have to be able to justify it. To me, it's just not enough GAS. What could I possibly expect?

  • Guitarists are supposed to be obsessed with gear, but it’s more nuanced than that. The real obsession is with tone, and not all or every tone, only the tone that connects for each one of us. It’s true that a market, especially in America, blew up around an endless smorgasbord of tone toys for baby boomers. So it’s good to remember how so many of our heroes spend entire careers using relatively unchanging rigs.


    After decades with a tiny handful of holy grail amps (five-watt Valco, Gretsch, Fender, and club-size silver face Fenders and a D-Clone) I found quick success with the Kemper. Almost a decade ago. If you’re focused on the frustrations, all gear presents its versions of that. But I don’t know, I just haven’t focused on that in my long relationship with the Kemper. I get my tones, it works, here and there it gets refined and its features expand.


    Just based on history, I can’t help hoping that if some “next” iteration of this thing is released, that it’s born out of a similarly singular, surprising Kemper mindset that may even require that guitarists think about things differently. That’s preferable to you know, a product that only attempts to answer any and every complaint from the P&W or Metal or home-user or whatever factions. Sure I’d like a 1/3rd size Kemper mini in the toaster form, but with a dSLR kind of coated exterior. And a UAD compatible Kemper plug-in or Kemper player.


    But no, I don’t lay awake thinking about other digital guitar solutions. Some of them come out looking pretty cool, but so far there hasn’t been any compelling impetus to buy another top tier (or simply top-priced) unit. A Stomp XL or MX5 even more so is compelling for its price and form factor, but those still aren’t necessities for me. Again, I’m happy with my tones, and I’m able to move around just fine even with the larger Kemper.


    I will say that it seems like there’s a bit of a renaissance of hand-wired amplifier building at the moment, and I’ve heard in person several of those modern day Magnatone combos sounding absolutely beautiful. A Twilighter or even Varsity, similar to those first gen Tone King Imperials, would be all most anyone would ever need. They’re expensive, but amazing. I want.


    Of course I’ve grown accustomed to so many of the luxuries of working with the Kemper, that until I’m using (and hauling) one of those— they’re heavier than they look—it’s probably impossible to calculate how much about it is just fantasy. They don’t have loops either, so other than putting stuff in front of them, it’s a commitment.


    ymmv

  • Guitarists are supposed to be obsessed with gear, but it’s more nuanced than that. The real obsession is with tone, and not all or every tone, only the tone that connects for each one of us. It’s true that a market, especially in America, blew up around an endless smorgasbord of tone toys for baby boomers. So it’s good to remember how so many of our heroes spend entire careers using relatively unchanging rigs.

    Funny but I don't think this is always true :).


    I think at least a percentage is about:

    1) New shiny toy

    2) Make up for poor playing - 90% of the sound comes from fingers etc

    3) Bragging rights


    I do agree with what you are saying in the round though :)

  • I am also on this pool, very few players actually "play", and in my experience, people who actually care for tone, instead of getting a kemper/axe/line6, they just fall in love with one amp and build its tone around it for a decade or so.

  • The sound of the electric guitar was "new" and revolutionary in the 50s-70s but even in the 80s things began to glide into "cliche area" and grunge had no problem to blow it (this whole cliche) away overnight..and I mean overnight and many folks in my age will agree on this.


    Ofcourse grunge went away even faster. "Techno"/electronic/gangsta after all that had an big impact on how kids perceive and want their sound today. A big part of "modern electric guitar sound" went down to the bass kind of things and this development ofcourse will not stop. More "blends" like this will happen. Everything will be possible.


    New technologies will give young musicians new capabilities and the industry is much to slow reacting to this development. To their own demise if they dont react (much) faster than let's say the major record companies in the end of the 90s.


    Things will go naturally into a "blend" of many many sounds from guitar to bass to synth and there will be no limits,no bitterly defended "styles" of music.. things will "sound good" or the kids will just be not interested.


    Seeing that many kids (not only the kids of musicians) have no problem today to sit down and learn and put big chunks of jazz into their playing (with all the new learning possibilities of the internet) shows that they will also have no problem at all to combine any kind of sound as they fit their needs of expressions.


    There is absolutely no doubt about that.


    The next big thing in guitar modeling will be something which is not solely a guitar modeler at all..

  • Lots of people play well, and many absolutely kill it with gear that would never pass muster on the internet. Amps, digital, whatever. I felt that I dissed enough consumers in my post that I didn't have to slay them directly or dismiss their hobbies (which do keep these companies solvent). But yes, long relationships with gear—decades—is what my musical life has been like. I don't see why the Kemper would be excluded from that.


    QC curiosity is valid. And for those enjoying it, cool. I've read enough about it, about objective issues, to take a hard pass.

  • Nikos I think you are totally right, technology is now playing a bigger part in music and its only going to increase and the lines between instruments will probably blur even more.


    The next generation will continue to push the boundaries and we will be seen as dinosaurs :).

  • Yes things in music will mix and interact like never before. Instruments will have to adjust to these developments.


    More so since in the future everyone will be his own "producer" and no one will tell anyone "you can't do this..no company will sign you"..


    This is a thing of the past.


    Kids interested in making music will fall into a big space with no safety net. They will be able to do everything and they will..

  • For high gain and pitch tracking I'm really feeling the cortex at the moment. High gain in the Kemper is fine for the most part most of time as well as the pitch tracking. The fractal delays, reverbs and other other effects are really awesome and the Amp models do sound and feel pretty effin good. But I'm still in the camp where the Kemper stands out a little bit more in the cleans to mid gain. With effects given in their current state holding it down despite the lack of number of them available at one time and all of us humbly requesting more eq squeezed into a few more places, the only rational and logical move forward that I think that can be seen from our perspective on the horizon at a fundamental core level is more effects blocks, more advanced high gain refinement and at least 2 cabs but 2 or more amps and cabs would be the move I think. Everyone is jumping on the ability to run multiple signal paths for one or more instruments, including vocals from a single device in the same preset with enough processing to handle all the signals at once. Some will say it's hard to justify a piece of gear that would cost twice as much say, a new Kemper that's cost 3k, but if it can handle the needs of 85% percent of a band then for sure my old band would've jumped on that train.

    I don't think it needs to cost that much but with chips increasing in power but also being scarce and inflation going up again, I'm not surprised to see an increase in people having to come together in this way. Right now the solution is having to buy combinations of units, which isn't terrible if you can afford it. I'm telling everyone I meet who asks what unit is better for this or that and I'm going to be telling them that at all costs they should have no less than 2 of any units in any combination. Which comes out to be around 3500 give or take. That is still cheaper than buying a fully featured rig of the same caliber. Just a couple penny thoughts.

  • I am also on this pool, very few players actually "play", and in my experience, people who actually care for tone, instead of getting a kemper/axe/line6, they just fall in love with one amp and build its tone around it for a decade or so.

    I used to post on another forum, where one of the resident posters was a full gear nerd. From balanced string gauges, custom pickups and fancy wiring/switching, cables, pedals, amps, attenuator and speaker it was analysed to the end of the world. He would guide others down the path that suited his passion best and got angry when things such as Fluence pickups or modelling was compared to 'real' gear. He'd advise people on building pedalboards, the necessity of acoustic coupling with your amp and all sorts of things he believed were essential.


    It transpired that for 'reasons' the chap could barely play anything. I mean almost nothing but he justified it that it was all about just playing one glorious note and revelling in the marvellous tone. Fine, if that's your thing but many of us just want to play, to have gear that gets us tone that is good enough. Those tiny details might be noticeable when playing in isolation at home, but when the drums hit and the bass player with a five string bass gets excited, most of it gets lost.


    But that's actually when I like it the most. So for me, tone is massively important but also irrelevant. I've found sounds in the Kemper that hold their own everywhere, loud, quiet, headphones or live. I cannot say that about anything else I've tried.

  • I used to post on another forum, where one of the resident posters was a full gear nerd. From balanced string gauges, custom pickups and fancy wiring/switching, cables, pedals, amps, attenuator and speaker it was analysed to the end of the world. He would guide others down the path that suited his passion best and got angry when things such as Fluence pickups or modelling was compared to 'real' gear. He'd advise people on building pedalboards, the necessity of acoustic coupling with your amp and all sorts of things he believed were essential.


    It transpired that for 'reasons' the chap could barely play anything. I mean almost nothing but he justified it that it was all about just playing one glorious note and revelling in the marvellous tone. Fine, if that's your thing but many of us just want to play, to have gear that gets us tone that is good enough. Those tiny details might be noticeable when playing in isolation at home, but when the drums hit and the bass player with a five string bass gets excited, most of it gets lost.


    But that's actually when I like it the most. So for me, tone is massively important but also irrelevant. I've found sounds in the Kemper that hold their own everywhere, loud, quite, headphones or live. I cannot say that about anything else I've tried.

    Totally agree with all of this. On top of this a lot of your musical expression comes from how you play. For me as long as the tone is "good enough" then I'll do the rest.

    Kemper PowerRack |Kemper Stage| Rivera 4x12 V30 cab | Yamaha DXR10 pair | UA Apollo Twin Duo | Adam A7X | Cubase DAW
    Fender Telecaster 62 re-issue chambered mahogany | Kramer! (1988 or so...) | Gibson Les Paul R7 | Fender Stratocaster HBS-1 Classic Relic Custom Shop | LTD EC-1000 Evertune | 1988 Desert Yellow JEM

  • I used to post on another forum, where one of the resident posters was a full gear nerd. From balanced string gauges, custom pickups and fancy wiring/switching, cables, pedals, amps, attenuator and speaker it was analysed to the end of the world. He would guide others down the path that suited his passion best and got angry when things such as Fluence pickups or modelling was compared to 'real' gear. He'd advise people on building pedalboards, the necessity of acoustic coupling with your amp and all sorts of things he believed were essential.


    It transpired that for 'reasons' the chap could barely play anything. I mean almost nothing but he justified it that it was all about just playing one glorious note and revelling in the marvellous tone. Fine, if that's your thing but many of us just want to play, to have gear that gets us tone that is good enough. Those tiny details might be noticeable when playing in isolation at home, but when the drums hit and the bass player with a five string bass gets excited, most of it gets lost.


    But that's actually when I like it the most. So for me, tone is massively important but also irrelevant. I've found sounds in the Kemper that hold their own everywhere, loud, quite, headphones or live. I cannot say that about anything else I've tried.

    I am a Black Metaller - I don't care for tone AND I can not play anything challenging :D:D:D

    It's all about evoking some demons here - and a tiny bit fun making music. But not too much fun - you know, it's still Black Metal 8)


    But seriously, I can understand all kind of people. For example, I know a few people that just love guitars... more than playing or recording or writing songs. They just love the look, the feel, the smell of their guitars spending most of their time polishing and upgrading.


    Others love "tone" or the "quest of getting THE tone". Some famous mixing engineers and producers have made this a profession - and they do unbelievable, crazy, obsessive things to get the right tone ^^


    Of course it can be a rabbit hole. But if some people get happy digging rabbit holes, they should do so.


    I have to admit, I learned a lot from such "freaks" and "gear nerds", because they are experts in their "world". And I also learned much from people that "only" can play guitar but have no clue about ANYTHING else. I think they must have a deal with Satan. But wait, I have too, but still I can not play as good :/