Neural DSP teasing something new (Quad Cortex)

Discussion in 'Gear & Equipment' started by HeHasTheJazzHands, Jan 7, 2020.

  1. mikah912

    mikah912 SS.org Regular

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    I also believe there is a bright future ahead of these guys. That being said, I don't share your take on the QC being "it" for capturing devices. Not yet, anyway.

    Kemper's mature ecosystem still gives it an edge to the Quad Cortex's rather chaotic one at present. You can get well-organized profile packs of the vast majority of amps out there. Sorting through them is a breeze with the Rig Manager because you can see detailed metadata for everything and get an idea of gain levels at a glance. Most importantly, every profile is instantly available for audition, so it's quite easy to rummage for what you want. You have 1,000 slots on the device and several times that in the Rig Manager.

    On the Cortex app, on the other hand, you can get a handful of related captures from Tone Junkies, Neural and a few others. It's a stretch to call those "packs". You only have 256 slots, and you have to fill them up to audition. Also, there is no desktop manager to make it easy. There's very little metadata, and it's not consistently applied. Neither the UI nor most of the descriptions tell you what it actually is that's being "captured". Most importantly, there is no marketplace, so the providers of content are handcuffed as to what they can do.

    I think the Capture thing will be handcuffed as long as that chaotic randomness is present in the Cortex app. I know they've said they have plans to combat that, but I wonder how they'll retcon away all of the vaguely-described one-off stuff that's already been uploaded when they do.

    Sure, the UI rocks otherwise, and it's a lot more compact. But on the other hand, it's harder to buy and is $150 more than a Stage new or $400-450 more than a gently used Stage on Reverb or elsewhere.

    Of course, if "capturing" or "profiling" only matters to you in terms of the gear you already own - and it's only amps, cabs and drive pedals - then, sure.....the QC might be the one to consider.
     
  2. cardinal

    cardinal F# Dive Bomber

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    For some reason I really don't want a Kemper put would like to try the capture function with the QC. The Kemper seems somehow intimidating or foreign, but I've never actually used one.
     
  3. laxu

    laxu SS.org Regular

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    What the unit was going to contain at release was pretty clearly laid out. They said what features would be there and what would not be. I bought mine with that knowledge, knowing I could return it if I don't like it.

    As a hardware unit it's a lot better than the FM3. Smaller, more switching, more control knobs, more I/O, more DSP power, touchscreen, way better display. Lack of SPDIF is really my only criticism for that part. FM3 does have a better headphone amp though (mainly can push high impedance headphones to louder volume).

    I would love to replace the FM3 with something that is easier to use without the computer with a similar feature set. But Helix does not work well as a desktop/travel unit and HX Stomp is too underpowered and has a tiny screen with few controls.

    I would love to replace the Helix Floor with something smaller that works as good for fx/switching only. Unfortunately nobody makes that either. Might try to see if someone wants to trade my Helix Floor for a Helix Rack locally.

    The QC software simply needs more time to mature before it works as a replacement for me and that's why I am sticking to the Helix and FM3.
     
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  4. Elric

    Elric SS.org Regular

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    The PS5 is not a mature product, either, but it is not difficult for me to understand why someone might want one right now. Shrug.

    This product, as is, is arguably the best profiler on the market, the build quality, UI, modeling, and form factor are superb. Other stuff needs some work. If I want capturing its this or the Kemper Stage.

    I have an Axe III and took a QC over the FM3. I could flip my QC and have an FM3 by end of week with cash to spare. Some people did do that; others didn't. It probably depends on what they were hoping to get out of the device. I reserve the right to do it myself at some point if my needs/desires/whims change.

    That sounds like an argument inside your head rather than some actual event that is happening in the here and now. Not sure what has been said that is making you think people have not been realistic about where this thing has succeeded out of the gate and where it needs work. I am seeing plenty of p*ssing and moaning; much of it from people who have not used the device... and while I'm sure some people have continued to hype it even where it has failed; I haven't seen anyone here claiming it was completely tapping all its potential at launch. I don't think Neural would even do this... Its in black and white what was omitted from the launch so this is all pretty much cut and dried.

    But, just because that stuff is not there does not mean this is not a product to be excited about and that can be super useful and for some purposes is the best thing on the market right now.

    TBH, it still strikes me as if you are unhappy because some people thought this thing was going to beat Fractal's amp modeling and you want someone to flat out say "Fractal is still the best". Like someone owes Fractal fans some schadenfreude or something.
     
    Last edited: Jun 3, 2021
  5. laxu

    laxu SS.org Regular

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    The QC can run 8 captures in a single preset on top of doing a better job with the captures than Kemper. That's a lot of pedals and amps you can cram in. NeuralDSP is also increasing the space for captures to 1024 user slots so that should be enough for anyone.

    I have been actually sitting in a bus going through captures I want to download on the mobile app, coming home and firing up my QC to download them. I thought that was pretty cool. While I agree that the mobile app is a big mess, it has not yet reached the amount of content where it becomes too cumbersome to browse. It does desperately need curation features and it's again one of those "launched too early" things for NeuralDSP.

    Part of the problem will always be end users. There is already the ability to fill in a description for each capture using the mobile app but very few do. It took me quite a while to write descriptions for every single capture I released but I did it. Most users if not forced to do it just won't bother.
     
  6. budda

    budda Do not criticize as this Contributor

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    No one owes anyone anything :lol:. Like I said, I have no stake in fractal. No one is in my dm's threatening me over this. This is my "what'll they do next?" thing. Im bored enough to call people out is all.

    As I said, it was overhyped and at $2k CAD it's not delivering the way they had pitched it. Hype squad got awfully quiet. I remarked at the utter lack of ngd's once they started shipping and getting into people's hands (and maybe even underfoot).

    Anyone here besides rev lookes at the tgp thread(s) on the qc? Any other forums?

    At the end of the day I plug into my rig and give 0 thoughts about this device once I do. But I do feel bad for the new owners who thought they were getting x and wound up with y. I guess it's good they can flip it - which seems to be the case.

    Curious to see what all the owners think a year from now.
     
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  7. mikah912

    mikah912 SS.org Regular

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    Kemper's workflow is different, and I was never limited by "only" having one amp up at a time. I was more limited by the UI, which is a huge part of why I was interested in the QC in the first place.

    Conversely, however, the UI of the Rig Manager is waaaaaaay beyond the Cortex app, as it compels users to fill in more metadata because A) so much of it is exposed and B) Commercial guys are all over it giving away free, easy-to-audition rig packs.

    I'm not going to say it's impossible, but I really do think the challenge of turning that Cloud experience into something elegant and organized becomes all the harder each day they let people keep uploading whatever, with no best practices to follow. They COULD - in the meantime - dump a lot of their extensive in-house captures featuring well-done metadata....but apparently the "minimum viable product" app can't support that either, at present.

    Matias Kupiainen told me elsewhere that he was waiting for the app to "catch up" before he could add new stuff, but he ended up erasing that comment shortly thereafter.
     
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  8. MetalDaze

    MetalDaze Repless in Seattle

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    No idea. I haven’t experienced it.

    I will say the @BadSeed Badlander capture is great. Thanks for sharing!
     
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  9. RevDrucifer

    RevDrucifer SS.org Regular

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    I’m not too proud to admit that I view the QC as a guilty pleasure at this point. My wife watches The Circle on Netflix and I read QC threads. :shrug:

    I think the reaction the QC is getting now is the result of the year and a half of hype around it, whether it were brought on by NDSP’s marketing or the QCanons. (Of which I do not believe Laxu and Elric are a part of).

    That TGP thread can sum all of that up and you can pretty much pick any point between pages 25-600 to find out why.

    I can’t speak for everyone, but the relationship between NDSP and their customers is starting to look more and more like an abusive relationship every day to me. Lots of broken promise and things not living up to their potential while the other side is saying “But they really care, they’re going to live up to all their promises. It’s ok that I have to use my QC in a way I shouldn’t have to so it stops buzzing so much, they’re going to give us auto-engage soon!”

    In that sense, the same way that you’d tell your bro who is dating a pyshcobitch, “Bro, that chick’s no good for you.”, I can see how/why people feel the need to speak against NDSP. My knee-jerk reaction is to do so, but I try to restrain myself to a slight degree as participating in debates isn’t my favorite pastime, I just enjoy reading them.

    IMO, NDSP threw QC owners a couple crumbs worth of updates after releasing a product that should still be in beta, 3 months after it’s been out. It’s perplexing to me that people are content with that and I think at this point, a year from now we’ll still be seeing posts saying “It’s ok, it’s a new product with growing pains. NDSP will pull through!” There are enough QC owners questioning it themselves that it’s not just the Fractal fanboy in me thinking that.

    Maybe it’s all just growing pains for a company’s first physical launch; maybe for future releases they’ll learn to manage expectations better and maybe go for a underpromise, over deliver model instead of what this was.
    They’ve got a lot of catching up to do while still going through the growing pains and I don’t predict that thing will be running at it’s advertised potential until at least 2022.

    Edit- The last post I read on TGP is a perfect example of what I’m talking about; dude gives a rundown of all the promises NDSP hasn’t met in the way of delivering a fully realized product and why he has his doubts, the reply he gets back is “Yeah but NDSP threw us some crumbs and they promise to throw us some more.”

    This is all riding on promises being made by a company who has not had a good track record of delivering on promises.
     
    Last edited: Jun 7, 2021
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  10. laxu

    laxu SS.org Regular

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    The thing I would say NeuralDSP is most guilty of is overestimating how quickly they can put things out, starting from their first opening of preorders in early 2020.

    What I am seeing is pretty normal velocity for a company that follows a typical software release procedure with internal and external testing phases, two week development sprints and so on. This means typically something like a month or two for most features. We as end users also do not see any of the things that happen under the surface and there can be a significant amount of work done there that facilitates progress in other areas. To the end user that looks like nothing is happening.
     
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  11. Emperoff

    Emperoff Not using 5150s Contributor

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    I find this whole QC endeavour quite funny, as it encompasses plenty of what's wrong with current "hype generation".

    The whole concept of it is like the Youtube thumbnail of every gear reviewer channel with the """IS THIS THE BEST GAMECHANGER FLOOR MODELLER EVER111!!!???""" caption. They are trying so hard to be the Apple of the guitar community that they even use a Macbook to compare the size.

    With marketing gems like:
    - "Biomimetic AI Technology"
    - "The most powerful multi-FX (floor) processor in the market"

    In the end, people just want shit that sounds great and does what's advertised without issues. The most aggravating issue is that Fractal FM3 costs 750$ less in the US and 500€ less in EU and its way ahead sonic-wise. Yeah, it doesn't have captures, and that is what most zealots are clinging to to keep hyping the thing, but it's still a far better deal when you consider all the power supply issues, etc.

    Fractal also has a solid track record regarding updates that so far Neural is lacking. But hey, you have cloud captures to purchase and fill their pockets even more!
     
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  12. HeHasTheJazzHands

    HeHasTheJazzHands SS.org Regular

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    I think the Apple Hype aspect of this thing is what annoys me the most about it. If there's one thing I liked about guitar, is that it's such outdated technology that's behind the time with a lot of trends.

    Now we got instagram style influencers and Apple-like advertising/hype and now it's just... uuugh. it was bound to happen but it's still annoying. :lol:
     
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  13. technomancer

    technomancer Gearus Pimptasticus Super Moderator

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    At least with Apple there's a well-realized product behind the hype...
     
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  14. SamSam

    SamSam GAS problems

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    I've had the chance to rehearse a few times with the QC now.


    Pros: Running dual guitar rigs and a bass rig in one box is cool.
    Fairly easy to program.
    Sounds Good.
    Captures are great.


    Cons: Footswitches are too close together, I often touch two switches at once which will result in a missed change. My feet are not huge by any means (UK 10)
    I wish the huge volume dial didn't exist. That's desktop design not floor pedal.
    The fucking PSU. It should be an IEC kettle plug. Again desktop design.
    Hopping from a scene change to my expression pedal. This needs to be automated sooner rather than later.


    Overall the QC feels more like a large desktop Interface as opposed to a rugged floor unit. I am not much of a mover on stage but if I have to make several changes quickly (Rhythm - solo 1 w/ wah - rhythm - solo 2 - rhythm) the narrow switches are a pain in the arse. I've never had this issue with other units. Maybe with time I will get used to it. Maybe I'll just use my FM3 in future. I'm not sure yet.

    My band like the tones and we all agree it sounds very good. It also means I can control the bass player's tones (he also sings) so that's a bonus. The on screen routing and set up is easy and changes can be made on the fly.

    Overall my thoughts are still out on this. Firmware improvements will add quality of life features but not fix my main gripes with it. Amp sims on the FM3 and FX are definitely better. But the captures (there are some great ones on the app!) are a great feature and you can really pack out the grids with 3 rigs going with CPU to spare! I couldn't do this all with the FM3, but I could just tell the bass player to suck it up and all my issues would be resolved with the FM3 :lol:
     
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  15. laxu

    laxu SS.org Regular

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    I could write a book about the things Apple does wrong. I would not buy a Macbook Pro with my own money anymore and their iPad Pro is great hardware but the software cannot make full use of it. But that's not really something for this thread.
     
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  16. technomancer

    technomancer Gearus Pimptasticus Super Moderator

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    From watching your posts I have faith that you could write a book on just about anything...

    Apple have made some questionable choices lately no doubt but the point still stands. The advertised features are actually implemented and they work, which is way ahead of the QC. Don't want to derail into OS platform debates though, was just making that point.

    I hope they deliver on everything in the original feature list in a timely manner and it grows into what was promised.
     
  17. GunpointMetal

    GunpointMetal SS.org Regular

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    This was the major thing that made my decision easy on whether to jump in early with it last year. Once we saw the full device, it did not look like a live performance piece of equipment to me. Once they're in regular stock and a few more updates in I might take one for a test drive. I'm still willing to die on the hill of "if you're going to release a >$1k floor modeler at least INCLUDE a compatible expression pedal, though. For that price there's no reason to require additional hardware to use all of the available features.
     
  18. SamSam

    SamSam GAS problems

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    I use the same exp pedals for axe2, fm3 and qc. An integrated expression pedal would have been a reason for me to pass on the qc.
     
  19. RevDrucifer

    RevDrucifer SS.org Regular

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    An attached expression pedal is an automatic non-starter for me. Honestly, I have no clue how reliable they are at this point and they may be working out great for Helix guys, I’ve just had so many wah and volume pedals break over the years, more than any other piece of gear, that I don’t trust it.

    My rig is set up now so if my board went down, I can still get through a gig, I’d just have to use one sound all night. It’s just controlling stuff in the rack, no audio passes through it and no drunk or straightedge and angry audience members can stomp all over the damn thing on me.

    I mean, the AxeFX III is what, $2200 or $2400 now? You still need to cough up the dough to control it. Pretty much the same deal with side-cars with high end studio gear; you don’t HAVE to buy the remote controls for the $4K reverb unit you just bought, but it’ll sure make it a hell of a lot easier to use.
     
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  20. cardinal

    cardinal F# Dive Bomber

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    I still want one. Just waiting for them to actually be available.
     

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