Neural DSP Quad Cortex

93

Multi-Effect Pedal for Electric Guitar & Electric Bass

  • Powerful and compact effect unit with 2 GHz dedicated DSP from the Quad-Core SHARC architecture
  • Unique neural capture network architecture enables the analysis and simulation of the dynamics and sound of other amplifiers
  • Integrated Wifi for sharing rig capture presets, backups and firmware updates
  • The integrated Superior Modeling Technology enables a constantly growing collection of algorithms with uncompromising sound quality
  • With custom rig captures from some of the best producers and sound designers
  • Very low latency and unparalleled routing flexibility
  • 7" Multi-touch display
  • Cabsim with over 1000 impulse responses
  • 11 Newly developed combination foot switches with rotary control function
  • Volume controls
  • Power supply connection: barrel connector 5.5 x 2.1 mm, negative polarity inside
  • Power supply via 12 V DC power adapter (included)
  • Dimensions (W x D x H): 290 x 191 x 48 mm
  • Weight: 1.6 kg

Note: no battery operation possible.

Connections:

  • Input 1 & 2: Combo XLR / 6.3mm jack
  • FX Loop 1: 2x 6.3 mm jack
  • FX Loop 2: 2x 6.3 mm jack
  • Output 1 & 2: 2x XLR
  • Output 3 & 4: 2x 6.3 mm stereo jack
  • Headphone connection: 6.3 mm stereo jack
  • Expression 1 & 2: 2x 6.3 mm stereo jack
  • MIDI In & Thru / Ou
  • USB
available since April 2021
Item number 486992
sales unit 1 piece(s)
Design Floorboard
Tube(s) No
Amp Modeling Yes
Effects Yes
Headphone Output Yes
Direct Out Yes
MIDI Interface Yes
Integrated Expression Pedal No
Connections for Pedals or Switches Yes
Aux-Input Yes
Integrated Tuner Yes
USB-Port Yes
Drum-Computer No
Incl. Tuner 1
Integrated Effects 1
MIDI Connector(s) 1
Line Out 1
PSU included 1
Aux Input 1
USB Connection 1
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20.990 kr
Free shipping incl. VAT
In stock within 1-2 weeks
In stock within 1-2 weeks

This item is expected back in stock soon and can then be shipped immediately.

Standard Delivery Times
1

Cutting-edge modeller for guitar and bass

With 2 GHz of DSP performance from its quad-core SHARC processor and its integrated USB audio interface, full MIDI compatibility, 7" touchscreen display, and full array of inputs and outputs, the Neural DSP Quad Cortex is certainly one of the most powerful and best-sounding effects units out there for guitarists and bassists. Users can choose from over 50 amp models and 70 top-flight effects, as well as 1,000 impulse response (IR) cabinet simulations. The Neural Capture technology, through which the sound characteristics of any amplifier and any cabinet can be reproduced to an astonishing degree, represents a brand-new approach in the world of sound modelling. The Neural DSP Quad Cortex reproduces each setup exactly as the human ear perceives it and offers really natural-sounding amp simulations.

Clear and simple operation via touchscreen

The central 7" colour touchscreen display allows you to create unique patches in no time via drag-and-drop. In addition, the 11 sturdy metal switches also act as rotary controls and will allow any corrections to the sound to be made in a flash. The integrated Superior Modelling Technology makes a constantly growing number of algorithms with uncompromising sound quality possible, thus rendering additional equipment redundant. Nevertheless, the unit is also equipped with two effects loops that will allow you to integrate your favourite pedals into the setup. What is more, the Neural DSP Quad Cortex is equipped with a pair of balanced stereo outputs, two expression pedal inputs, a MIDI interface, and two combined XLR/6.3 mm (1/4”) jack inputs and thus provides immense flexibility. Finally, the 48 V phantom power option makes the stereo inputs perfect for vocals and acoustic instruments.

Three modes, setlists, and gig view

The Neural DSP Quad Cortex has three different modes that allow it to be adapted to any situation. In "Stomp Mode", the unit behaves like an analogue pedal board. "Scene Mode", on the other hand, controls any desired number of effect blocks within a rig, while "Preset Mode" allows direct access to up to eight virtual rigs. By creating so-called "setlists", the patches can be clearly organised and managed – each setlist can comprise up to 32 banks of eight presets each. This allows presets to be sorted by category, project, or album and recalled in seconds. Another practical feature is the Gig View function, which provides a full-screen view of the footswitches’ current function.

About Neural DSP

Founded in Finland in 2017, Neural DSP regards itself as a developer and provider of computer-based solutions for the music industry. Inspired by innovative technologies such as advanced algorithms and machine learning, Neural DSP Technologies initially developed software plug-ins. New products have been released at regular intervals, most of which faithfully reproduce legendary amps or, in collaboration with popular guitarists such as Plini and Tosin Abasi, exactly reproduce their characteristic sounds. The Quad Cortex, the first hardware product from the still-young company, was released in 2021 and, true to the company's credo, is intended to bring artists a new level of creative inspiration through technological innovations.

A veritable workstation

With its huge number of high-quality amp simulations, over 1,000 cabinet simulations, numerous effects, and intuitive touchscreen navigation, the Neural DSP Quad Cortex is undoubtedly aimed at professionals who will put it through its paces in the rehearsal room, in the studio, or on stage. Besides delivering authentic sounds, this board also has impressive connectivity and will handle pretty much any application. Furthermore, the unique "Neural Capture Technology" means that the sound and behaviour of any amplifier or rig can be replicated, permanently saved, and recalled at will, so that the capabilities of the Neural DSP Quad Cortex will keep on growing.

For the stage and the studio

Whether in the studio, in the rehearsal room, or on stage, the Neural DSP Quad Cortex will always be up to the challenge, whatever the context – and will always impress thanks to its sophisticated operating concept, unparalleled routing flexibility, and clever features such as the footswitches with integrated rotary control function. Although designed primarily for guitarists and bassists, the Quad Cortex can also be used for processing vocals, keyboards, and many other acoustic instruments thanks to its phantom-powered microphone inputs.

lf
This is basically just a prototype... (and you can't direct monitor on Windows)
ligma fingaz 04.01.2022
Direct Monitoring feature still is unusable on Windows as of January 2022. I have tried every QC OS update/USB driver/windowsOS workaround on the PC of every bedroom producer I know and all with the same result. The entire signal gets bitcrushed when you record, fizzy unusable mush. Line-outs work just fine. Never had this issue occur on a Mac.

Side-note: I'm pretty disappointed that many teased features (such as being able to load Archetype plugins, having a desktop editor) have not been added and at this point never will be. I anticipate they'll put out a new unit with this feature in a few years and leave any early adopters in the dirt. This unit is rusting away, a waste of potential. The company's focus seems to have shifted almost entirely to their plug-in users. Not acceptable conduct at this price-point. I dare you Neural, prove me wrong in the next update

Lastly: flimsy unconditioned power supply, should come with something more reliable. USB 2.0 Type B is practically extinct why is it on this unit? Why doesn't the app have audio demos for user presets? Why is it so cluttered to navigate? Why is there so much latency switching presets?
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T
Perfect form factor.
TByrne 19.09.2021
As soon as you open the box and take it out you feel the quality straight away. The Quad Cortex is simply lovely to hold and looks sleek and modern. The touch screen makes it look on par with an iPhone or Android device. The fact the stomps double as knobs make this super easy to use.

This ease of use is my favourite thing about the QC. My previous modeller was always hassle for dialling in tones, particularly heavy tones, and always sounded a bit plastic. When I enquired about it on the related forum people were recommending third-party IRs. The QC, on the other hand, works great out the box with no IRs needed as the ones supplied do the job.

If there's any downsides it still needs some features like a looper and desktop app, and some more models, but like all of these types of devices its an ever evolving platform and they're sure to come.

I think overall, though, this device has been a great purchase. I've spent far less time dialling in which means more time playing and simply having fun. If you are already familiar with the plugins and love that sound then this device is highly recommended for if/when you decide to start stepping out of the bedroom.
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QC or Fractal Audio FM9
AlesT 04.09.2022
First impression – einfach genial!

I bought this product in hope for a good sounding and easy to use unit. I own a Fractal Audio FM3. QC is the most user friendly unit I have ever tried - einfach genail! This is something the FA should learn from Neural. QC is also very lighter compared to FM3 and has lot more DSP power, you be very creative. With FM3 you can use only 1 amp in the chain.

What is my main problem with FM3, there are so many options and parameters to tweak, I have this constant feeling that I could sound better with some fine adjustment? With QC I have managed to set up the unit and create a patch in 15 min without reading any manual or watching any video, this is pure advantage!

What about the sound?

Happy with the thought that I will sold the FM3 and keep the QC, I set the A/B test. Both units had the latest firmware. I play 40+ years, owned and tried many high end amps (Friedman, Marshall, Mesa, Fender etc), owned digital stuff like Kemper, Helix and currently FM3. I argue that if you really want to test a digital modeler of profiler, you have to test it with guitar cabinet using a linear power amp (no IR). The test signal chain, my favourite Gibson Les Paul, AB switch, one line into FM3 one into QC and into a Matrix GT 1000 FX to the Marshall 1960 AV cabinet. I compared all the amps (same models) that are in the both units (Friedman, Soldano, EVH, JCM 800, VH4, VOX, Fender etc.). I tested from the bedroom to the stage volume.

And the result…

I could not believe and I didn't want to believe what I'm hearing. I was shocked, the FM3 sounded so much better, more fresh, more dynamic, much more real compared to the real amp. Just for the record, I tested the real Friedman amp BE 100 Deluxe, so I know how the real amp compare to FM3. In the end I kept my FM3, because it was so very close considering the feel, response and sound. And the idea to have many other amps that I love and don’t need to spend 20K EURO just for amps, is a good feeling. So, back to the QC sound, with the high gain amps, the QC has some strange, annoying frequencies in mid-range. Even with lowering the minds and EQ cuts, there is this 'nasal' thing going on. With clean amps it' even worse, I felt like having a blanket over the speakers with the QC. I thought I'm doing something wrong, so I checked many videos any read the manual. Tried other settings, options, but the significant difference was always there. In the blind test I could guess 10 times in a row which one I'm playing.

I'm really disappointing, because I wanted to keep the QC for it's simplicity.

Neural marketing strategy?

Maybe the user friendly product that combines two worlds (modelling and profiling) is the USP for the Quad Cortex? I don’t know, but for me, the number one criteria is always the feel and the sound.

I wish Neural could do something to improve the sound quality. With the sound of the FM3, I would keep the QC for 100% even the FM3 feels more robust, but I will not deep into this topic. Simplicity would be the game changer for me.

Verdict

If the feel and sound is your main concern, I suggest you try Fractal FM9 (you are not limited with just one amp in the row and you have more switches compared to FM3) and QC. Make sure you test it with a quality linear power amp and the guitar cabinet and choose your winner.

If you are looking for a decent sounding product with an unbelievable simplicity and countless options including profiling, the QC is the choice for you.

I will send my QC back ASAP (I know there are many of you waiting for the stock), sell my FM3 and buy an FM9. The 400 EUR + for FM9 compared to QC is nothing if I consider the sound and feel quality from Fractal Audio.

Thank you Thomann, you are the best retailer in Europe, no wonder that all shop in the circle of 500 km around my home, closed their business or they are selling only super low costs instruments.
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DD
Great potential, but...
Develop Device 18.12.2021
Sound-wise, I have no complaints. It sounds really good and it stands up to the more expensive competition. Capturing is better than the Kemper.

But what limits and bothers me a lot is the way the presets are managed. It's really unpolished at the moment. I don't understand why I can't save presets to my computer. The cloud solution is cool, but I want to have other options. Can't work with multiple items at once, in a batch. This is very annoying and tedious.

The second thing is the non-existent desktop editor. Since I work in a studio, I need new sounds every day. I'm really tired of having to leave my desk for every edit and deal with everything physically on the unit because I can't do it any other way.
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