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Quad Cortex - I wonder where they got that idea?

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Well, whatever next?
It sure looks familiar but you are never alone with a clone.

As the saying goes - “if you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em”

 


 

8BBF5845-65D0-4F25-8F01-F7F71A55E277.jpeg

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25 minutes ago, lungho said:

Damn, they forgot the meters.....


He, he, he! 
 

I was expecting “spikey” to ask if there is a tuner in the editor! 
 

Hang on a moment - does it even have an editor?

 

Does it make a sound?

 

Maybe the artificial intelligence thing ensures that your guitar never goes out of tune!

 

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Every new make/model that has come out since the Helix was released looks llke the Helix. Even BOSS! The GT100 released in 2012 had the traditional BOSS look that had been around for decades.... then the GT1000 in 2018 looked like a Helix. 

 

The only exception I can think of is the Kemper Stage.... and that's not necessarily a compliment :) 

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$1,600 euros and they say it can run four amp models at once.  It also has a touchscreen.  It will be interesting to hear how good the modeling is.    Whatever the case, I don't see myself migrating away from Helix for a long time...not even if there's a Helix 2.0 in two or three years.

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Just now, lungho said:

$1,600 euros and they say it can run four amp models at once.  It also has a touchscreen.  It will be interesting to hear how good the modeling is.    Whatever the case, I don't see myself migrating away from Helix for a long time...not even if there's a Helix 2.0 in two or three years.

 

Competition is a good thing.... 

I have no interest in changing... especially as a Variax owner, but I welcome choice. 

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It seems to hit many of those "wish list" things that people want the HX Stomp/HXFX to be.

 

A hair larger than HXFX

Lots of buttons

Amps and IRs

As powerful as HX Floor

1/4" and XLR Outs

2 FX loops

Touchscreen

 

I like the Rotary Stomp buttons. Will they be sturdy enough?

I wonder if it has a CommandCenter equivalent for MIDI?

Multiple parallel signal chain routes? Looks like just one per processor, same as Helix.

Some sort of amp profiling. Probably along the lines of BIAS.

I didn't see any reference to a looper or Tap Tempo.

They missed the magic <>$1000 price point.

And of course, no Variax.

And it requires external PSU.

Still, an interesting entry in the multi-fx wars.

 

EDIT: I see the Tap Tempo button. DOH!

 

 

 

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Looks a lot like something I proposed a few months ago, Digital Igloo even said there may not be a market for it.

 

My concept from a few months back:350405660_HELIXLEAN.jpg.8d6bd2d8329d05b1f71e28402e8940ff.jpg

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4 hours ago, robertgoddard said:

Looks a lot like something I proposed a few months ago, Digital Igloo even said there may not be a market for it.

 

 

 

 

He said the same about the powered cabs, until they came with theirs.

 

So that’s not necessarily a bad sign.

 

I have hopes about new Variax Bass too!

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5 hours ago, rd2rk said:

 

I like the Rotary Stomp buttons. Will they be sturdy enough?


I saw those on the promo video and wondered just how resilient they are going to be for a life on the road. Even for a studio rat like me, I would be wary of the footswitch/encoder failing. I shall be sticking with my Helix, it’s built like a tank.

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This seems like such a ripoff, however I have to admit this is exactly the helix I’ve been wishing line 6 would come out with. I think out of respect for line 6 I will wait to give them a chance to make something like this before I buy the ripoff. Size wise perfect, right between the floor and the stomp, a touch screen... I mean seriously line 6, it’s 2020! I want a stomp really bad, but this would still be a lot smaller than my lt But not limited the way the stomp is.

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25 minutes ago, ashetler1 said:

Size wise perfect, right between the floor and the stomp, a touch screen... I mean seriously line 6, it’s 2020!

 

This product is still 9 months from first delivery....

 

If I have learned anything about Line 6 over the years... it's that you often don't know it's coming until it's available. 

Just because things are not talked about in the open doesn't mean things are not being done. 

 

 

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14 hours ago, rd2rk said:

It seems to hit many of those "wish list" things that people want the HX Stomp/HXFX to be.

 

A hair larger than HXFX

Lots of buttons

Amps and IRs

As powerful as HX Floor

1/4" and XLR Outs

2 FX loops

Touchscreen

 

+

  • wireless updates
  • rig modeling 

The UI for the parametric EQ is worth the price of admission alone. This thing is going to rock. Too bad for not including the expression pedal out of the box, I like not having to lug it separately. I'll wait a little bit to see how it fares from the reliability / showstopper perspective but those folks are thinking about this the right way.

 

2020-01-11_10-24-26.png

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Touch screens on a floor unit are going to need a lockdown mode. I hope this will have one.

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41 minutes ago, BlueD said:

 

+

  • wireless updates
  • rig modeling 

The UI for the parametric EQ is worth the price of admission alone. This thing is going to rock. Too bad for not including the expression pedal out of the box, I like not having to lug it separately. I'll wait a little bit to see how it fares from the reliability / showstopper perspective but those folks are thinking about this the right way.

 

2020-01-11_10-24-26.png

 

The parametric EQ might be worth the price of admission for you, but I wouldn't pay $1600 for a touchscreen controlled parametric EQ... :-)

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I don't see this as any kind of rip-off. It's a multi-fx like many others. Has buttons and a nice display.

Does the display look like Helix? A little. But seriously, how many ways are there to display a signal flow? Did anybody really like the Guitar Rig top to bottom display? Nobody copied it. Wouldn't work on an itty-bitty screen anyway.

 

What would bother me more would be if, like some Chinese copycats, they simply ripped off somebody's code. Neural's plug-ins are well thought of, and they seem to have gone their own way with their code. And it's already designed so the presets can be used across their platforms.

 

Ultimately, what will (or won't) sell this is how good it sounds and how dependable it is.

AND....if L6 gets the next generation Helix out before this thing actually hits the streets.

 

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It's the future, arriving on the shore of the present (man).

 

Modelers are the coming thing, I suspect. There will always be amps, of course, and nothing wrong with that, but the DSP genie won't go back in the bottle now...

 

It's all good.

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1 hour ago, rd2rk said:

I don't see this as any kind of rip-off. It's a multi-fx like many others. Has buttons and a nice display.

Does the display look like Helix? A little. But seriously, how many ways are there to display a signal flow? Did anybody really like the Guitar Rig top to bottom display? Nobody copied it. Wouldn't work on an itty-bitty screen anyway.

 

I actually think that nearly everything about the UI is, uh, borrowed from something else on the market. And, I'm sorry, the whole signal flow thing is a direct copy of the Helix, and they aren't even trying to hide it. The color-coded, stylized icons and the curved lines - it's a direct rip off. There are plenty of other ways they could have done about, but they took the, "copy it, but make it look a little different route".

 

1 hour ago, rd2rk said:

AND....if L6 gets the next generation Helix out before this thing actually hits the streets.

 

If this thing actually comes out in Fall 2020, or shortly thereafter, I don't see that happening...

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8 minutes ago, phil_m said:

I actually think that nearly everything about the UI is, uh, borrowed from something else on the market. And, I'm sorry, the whole signal flow thing is a direct copy of the Helix, and they aren't even trying to hide it. The color-coded, stylized icons and the curved lines - it's a direct rip off. There are plenty of other ways they could have done about, but they took the, "copy it, but make it look a little different route".

 

My car has 4 cylinders, 4 round tires, a round steering wheel, gas, brake and clutch pedals, and a stick shift. Pretty much a direct rip-off of a model A Ford, but prettier.

Speedometer, tachometer, oil pressure, water temp and electrical gauges. It's a 2006 model, so definitely, the UI is reminiscent of other cars that came before it.

As for the color-coded, stylized icons, an icon is, well, an icon. Skeuomorphics wouldn't have worked on a tiny screen, and then they'd be copying TH3 and BIAS.

So, what else is there?

No need to apologize, the similarities ARE obvious. If you've got a better idea for how to represent a signal chain on a tiny screen, I expect we'll be seeing it on the next gen Helix :-) .

Bottom line, the UI is not what's going to sell this thing (or not). It's what's under the hood that's going to make or break it.

To continue with the car metaphors, if it sounds like a Model A it's gonna suck. But if it sounds like a proper muscle car............i say, welcome to the club!

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1 hour ago, rd2rk said:

My car has 4 cylinders, 4 round tires, a round steering wheel, gas, brake and clutch pedals, and a stick shift. Pretty much a direct rip-off of a model A Ford, but prettier.

Speedometer, tachometer, oil pressure, water temp and electrical gauges. It's a 2006 model, so definitely, the UI is reminiscent of other cars that came before it.

 

No... IMO you are side stepping what is being said. Design is not function... a Speedometer is a Speedometer, but the LOOK is very different from one make to another. 

 

Before the Helix, every modeler looked different. They had similar functions... but they LOOKED different. BOSS looked like BOSS, DIGITECH looked like DIGITECH, LINE 6 looked like LINE 6, KEMPER looked like the Space Station (and in fairness, still does) etc... etc....  Right now pretty much everything looks like a Helix...both in hardware and UI. 

 

Where this unit DOES STRAY is in the footswitches... that's an interesting concept. Aside from that... it looks like it could have come from Line 6... it just didn't. 

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23 hours ago, lungho said:

$1,600 euros and they say it can run four amp models at once.  It also has a touchscreen.  It will be interesting to hear how good the modeling is.    Whatever the case, I don't see myself migrating away from Helix for a long time...not even if there's a Helix 2.0 in two or three years.


I have no doubt the modelling is top notch coming from Neural DSP.  They make good lollipop.  Just check out their archetype plugins.
 

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HA!  and now I see the forums change swear words to something else.  hahaha I didn't type lollipop  

That's hilarious.

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3 hours ago, the_bees_knees22 said:

HA!  and now I see the forums change swear words to something else.  hahaha I didn't type lollipop  

That's hilarious.

 

 

As any form of censure, not really. 

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7 hours ago, codamedia said:

No... IMO you are side stepping what is being said. Design is not function... a Speedometer is a Speedometer, but the LOOK is very different from one make to another.

 

Not side stepping anything. The look of the Cortex display is different. If they made the icons the same that would be one thing. But would it really change anything if the icons were hexagonal instead of square? And there's only so many colors in the rainbow. If Helix uses purple, would lavender be different enough? British Racing Green vs Shamrock Green? Until you turn it on, an iPhone looks pretty much like an Android phone. When you turn it on it has icons. They're square and live on a background that you can customize (wallpaper). You put your finger on a touchscreen to make it work. Same for Laptops. Same for most tech. UI form is designed for use by humans. Certain things work, and getting too clever with the interface detracts from the functionality.

 

7 hours ago, codamedia said:

Before the Helix, every modeler looked different. They had similar functions... but they LOOKED different. BOSS looked like BOSS, DIGITECH looked like DIGITECH, LINE 6 looked like LINE 6, KEMPER looked like the Space Station (and in fairness, still does) etc... etc....  Right now pretty much everything looks like a Helix...both in hardware and UI. 

 

When I see a Helix Floor, I don't wonder if it's a GT1000 or a Headrush or an AXE FX or a Space Station. Other than having buttons and knobs and a colorful LED display, the Cortex doesn't look much like a Helix. If anything, it looks kinda like that Chinese modeler I referred to.

 

Really, the L6 designers should be proud of themselves. Their creation is fast becoming the round steering wheel of the modeling industry!

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10 hours ago, rd2rk said:

Not side stepping anything. The look of the Cortex display is different. If they made the icons the same that would be one thing. But would it really change anything if the icons were hexagonal instead of square? And there's only so many colors in the rainbow. If Helix uses purple, would lavender be different enough? British Racing Green vs Shamrock Green? Until you turn it on, an iPhone looks pretty much like an Android phone. When you turn it on it has icons. They're square and live on a background that you can customize (wallpaper). You put your finger on a touchscreen to make it work. Same for Laptops. Same for most tech. UI form is designed for use by humans. Certain things work, and getting too clever with the interface detracts from the functionality.

 

If you showed a photo of the Helix and a photo of the Cortex to someone who had never seen them before, that person could very likely assume they were both made by the same manufacturer. I think Line 6 could very easily bring a trade dress case against Neural if they wanted. I don't think they will, just because such things can be seen as bullying. Speaking of phones, Apple did win a judgement against Samsung because Samsung stole various UI features directly from the iPhone. So it does happen. I don't know why people are so willing to give thieves a pass... It's enough for me to not want to support those companies, regardless of what other cool features they have.

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4 minutes ago, phil_m said:

 

If you showed a photo of the Helix and a photo of the Cortex to someone who had never seen them before, that person could very likely assume they were both made by the same manufacturer. I think Line 6 could very easily bring a trade dress case against Neural if they wanted. I don't think they will, just because such things can be seen as bullying. Speaking of phones, Apple did win a judgement against Samsung because Samsung stole various UI features directly from the iPhone. So it does happen. I don't know why people are so willing to give thieves a pass... It's enough for me to not want to support those companies, regardless of what other cool features they have.

 

Have you seen a picture of the Cortex? Again, knobs and switches and a colorful LED screen. But if you can't tell the Cortex from a Helix, how do you find your car in a parking lot?

 

Look, I'm not defending thieves. But there's enough similarity between L6 products and everything else to provide lawyers with endless income if we get too picky about appearances.

"My device uses buttons and knobs, so you can't use buttons and knobs!"

"My device is black/silver/green so your device can't be black/silver/green!"

"My device uses colorful LEDs so you can't use colorful LEDs!"

I want to see lawyers earn their keep going after IP thieves, not suing over the height of the tail-fins.

I'm not going to abandon my Helix just because somebody comes up with a revolutionary never-been-seen-before UI.

The quality of the SOUND is what matters.

The originality of the code behind that SOUND is more important (to me) than the novelty of a neurally controlled heads-up display.

And when L6 comes up with their own neurally controlled heads-up display, I won't be calling "FOUL" if it sounds better and uses original code.

 

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55 minutes ago, phil_m said:

 

Speaking of phones, Apple did win a judgement against Samsung because Samsung stole various UI features directly from the iPhone.

 

Apparently they didn't "win enough" - otherwise Android phones wouldn't look 1:1 like iPhones. Besides, I think the case was more about multi gestures, swiping and such. And even regarding those Apple didn't win.

 

Really, there's only so much ways to put icons onto a flatscreen and demonstrate a signal flow between them. Sure, they could've made them circles or triangles, but that's really about it.

Apart from that, tried and trusted designs are copied, that's the way things go, absolutely no way around it.

Fwiw, personally, I found it more amusing that they used "Cortex". Cortex vs. Helix... that's a nice little side stab.

 

Anyway, they seem to be doing exactly what most people in the modeling world want: Combining modeling and profiling (err... amp capturing) in one unit and spraying massive amounts of CPU power icing onto that already delicious cake. All that with a great to use interface which will make any of the others completely pale in comparison. A touchscreen *and* enough knobs to twiddle, yay! Talk about decent fly rigs - weight comes in at a quarter of the Helix (and you could hide an EXP pedal between your socks). I'd also imagine their XLR outs will work without a phantom power blocker and their mic ins won't break once you actually use phantom power with them (sorry but no sorry, pun intended). In a nutshell: What's not to like? The only thing I see so far is the lack of a digital I/O, can't exactly understand why they leave that out. And perhaps the switches might be too close to each other (not *that* much closer than on the Helix, but I sometimes wish for a tad more space to do my stepdance already).

 

Regarding the durability of the switches also serving as rotary encoders, I completely trust scandinavian engineering. I mean, TC has already shown it with the G-System that such things can work flawlessly over decades in case the quality is decent (unlike certain joysticks we all know...).

 

Bottomline: I'm all interested. More than in anything else on the modeling scene.

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And well, fwiw, you might even be able to run this thing from a powerbank (I absolutely don't like wall warts, but they're not the end of the world, either - and you could run 12V straight from a car battery).

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17 minutes ago, SaschaFranck said:

Regarding the durability of the switches also serving as rotary encoders, I completely trust scandinavian engineering. I mean, TC has already shown it with the G-System that such things can work flawlessly over decades in case the quality is decent (unlike certain joysticks we all know...).

Just an FYI, but according to Frank Ritchotte from Line 6, the total number of joystick failures hasn't even reached triple digits across the line. It's really not a common problem.

 

I don't get the impression that the TC G-System has ever sold like hotcakes... I'm sure it was built fine, though. Sadly, TC was purchased by Behringer a few years ago, and that seems to have been the death knell for them.

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2 minutes ago, phil_m said:

Just an FYI, but according to Frank Ritchotte from Line 6, the total number of joystick failures hasn't even reached triple digits across the line. It's really not a common problem.

 

I have no idea about the total number of failures, but I do know two guys personally who had to have their joysticks resoldered. Out of the, hm, 6 (or 7, there's one guy I don't really know...) Helix users (8 including myself), that's 25% already. Add to this the "non-lethal" issues, such as the thing wearing out (a lot too fast, if you asked me). Maybe it's been a bad production run shipping to Germany, maybe not.

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12 hours ago, Ed_Saxman said:

 

 

As any form of censure, not really. 

 

Entirely OT, so apologies and I will be brief :-)

 

There are a number of people here who are church players, so I imagine that my occasional excursions into drunken pirate style cursing would be unwelcome with them and indeed others too. Moderating for language is imho acceptable when the intention is to keep the forum comfortable for all users. The auto-lollipop serves as a gentle reminder that this is a public space, not a sweaty dive full of degenerate rockers ;-)

 

 

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53 minutes ago, BBD_123 said:

this is a public space, not a sweaty dive full of degenerate rockers ;-)

 

 

While you're (probably) right, I know what I'd prefer, though.

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5 hours ago, SaschaFranck said:

What's not to like?

 

Schrodinger's cat.... We haven't even heard it yet?

Until we do, it has a 50/50 chance of sounding good, or not! 

 

I am half joking... I do expect this to be a high quality and great sounding unit. I just find it funny how excited everyone is when all we have seen are a few specs, a few photos, and a few animations. IMO: Call me when the cake is actually baked so I can taste it. All I am seeing now is a recipe. 

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I'm not all *that* excited (and I'd never place a pre-order), but the specs are pretty awsome so far, the CEO is a serious guy in the MI business and their plugins are pretty much top notch.

So, given just the description and ignoring things we don't know yet (for me certain things regarding usability would be most crucial), personally, this really checks more boxes than any other modeling product on the market.

Nothing making me nervous, though. The Helix is serving me marvellously fine and in case it won't break, I would possibly never "need" anything else. I'm also not someone to quickly hop onto each and every new thing just because it's there. But then, from all that is known so far, this is simply too good to be ignored by anybody into this kinda thing.

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38 minutes ago, codamedia said:

 

Schrodinger's cat.... We haven't even heard it yet?

Until we do, it has a 50/50 chance of sounding good, or not! 

 

 

We already know how it sounds > 

 

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I will be most interested to see what gets delivered here. The combined footswitch/knob appears to be sheer genius if they hold up.  What a novel way to provide more adjustable knobs without increasing the chassis size.  The spread out switches/knobs will require wider hand travel across the modeler for parameter adjustment and some users may not like this. I would be sorry to lose scribble strips and a built-in expression pedal is always a plus to me but by no means a deal-breaker.  I love the touchscreen and the fact that it looks like this device may be able to use at least Neural proprietary plugins. Combining a touchscreen with physical knobs and incorporating plugins on a pedalboard are two features I have wished for that have met with a lot of pushback or disinterest on the forum. I am happy to see other companies embrace these ideas and hope that Line6 follows suit at some point.

 

The ability to load and save presets via Wi-Fi on the Cortex is fantastic and really a no-brainer, USB flash memory would be another excellent option(not present on the Cortex). Firmware upgrades and preset sharing will also be available using Wi-Fi. Would I accuse Line6 of intellectual property theft if they implemented Wi-Fi saving/importing in the Helix II? Of course not! Those kinds of ideas belong to everyone and they may well be working on them already.

 

The chassis and the signal flow and icon representation appears admittedly very similar to the Helix though I personally wish they had not followed Line6's lead on the icons. The icons on the Helix are so broad, represented by category, that I don't know if I am looking at a flanger or a phaser, a Fender or a Marshall, an overdrive or a fuzz pedal. I would have preferred a text option along with the icons. Another fine addition would be  customizable icons. The ability to import a low-res picture or graphic for icons, or in lieu of that a large library of icons,would be mighty handy and sooner or later I won't be surprised if we see a device that features it.

 

I am not a fan of intellectual property theft but there is sometimes a gray area or fine line between theft and best practice. There are times when everyone can clearly see the same better mousetrap. Not everything should be protected by patent or copyright. Case in point certain pharmaceutical corporations who have patented sequences in the human genome so they can be assured to profit off any future cures developed, even by other companies. A well-known corporation's patenting of "one-click" purchasing also comes to mind. A patent that only ran out relatively recently. Certain things/ideas should belong to the user community and any company that wants to provide them, not a single company. When does a device stop being just a clone? How many innovations, improvements, or fixes are required before it becomes significantly different enough from the original to withstand a lawsuit? That is for the courts to decide. There is always a tension between protecting and encouraging R&D investments by a company and not granting or extending a copyright or patent to the point where it cripples innovation or becomes an unsustainable or unjustifiable cost to the end user.

 

Line6 has been steadfast in their support of other companies like Fractal and Kemper that created high-end modelers before them.  I hope they offer similar latitude to companies that come after the Helix with products like the Headrush or "Quad Cortex".  Some of them will not be as good and some may be better, some more derivative and some less. Competition spurs innovation and I see no reason for them not to continue to pursue the high road. If this device turns out to be great, too early to tell as it is essentially vaporware until delivery, and even if any one of these companies gets leap-frogged by another, probably only temporarily, all of us musicians ultimately benefit from the bar being raised.

 

 

 

 

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36 minutes ago, HonestOpinion said:

I am not a fan of intellectual property theft but there is sometimes a gray area or fine line between theft and best practice.

 

Thank You! "Best practice" is what I was trying to get at with my car analogies!

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8 hours ago, BlueD said:

 

We already know how it sounds > 

 

Tbf, that could be any modeller/fx processor that you are listening to , there's absolutely nothing in that vid that would make me even moderately interested in parting with $1500.

 

Seems like the touchscreen and the tech specs are enough for a few though.

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