There's no doubt that Neural are working at the forefront of amp and multi-effects pedals right now, and it has always said that the Quad Cortex would eventually be able to integrate it popular Archetype plugin packs. Now it has begun to deliver with the news a Quad-compatible Plini signature Archetype will be available for owners of the processor.
"In a few weeks, we will release Archetype: Plini X," says the Finnish company. "This free update for existing users [of the Archetype plugin] comprises many new features and changes. It also marks the next step in our mission to make our plugins compatible with Quad Cortex."
The X simply denotes its compatibility with the Quad Cortex, but there's a catch. And Neural are being open about the challenges of delivering on their ambitions. Archetype: Plini X won't be able to run immediately after its release on the Quad.
"Our plugin teams and Quad Cortex teams have had to significantly improve the architecture of both platforms to ensure plugins can run on Quad Cortex," says Neural. "There will be a CorOS update in the future that introduces the functionality required to support plugins.
"By that point, we intend to have more plugins finalized for Quad Cortex compatibility, and we will continue to release more QC-compatible plugins in batches."
So things will ramp up considerably at that point with tones coming from Archetype artists including Tom Morello, Tim Henson, Rebea Massaad and John Petrucci. – plus amp-focussed Archetypes for the Tone King and Mesa Mk C+. But the company reiterates these plugins will only be available to those who already own the software.
"Logging in to your Neural DSP account on your Quad Cortex will verify which plugin licenses you have in your linked iLok account(s) and make plugin-exclusive blocks available on your Quad Cortex," says Neural.
The company also anticipated some of the questions Quad Cortex owners would have about the plans and included a helpful Q&A we've posted below. And in it the company is clear about how difficult this stage of the Quad Cortex's post-luanch development has been.
"Rebuilding 13 plugins in the past two and a half years while simultaneously releasing new plugins and Quad Cortex updates so that we can continue to sustain and grow our team has been an immense challenge but one we're incredibly proud of and happy to see progress," it says.
- Can I create new signal chains on Quad Cortex combining devices from multiple plugins?
Yes! As long as the plugins are Quad Cortex compatible, you can mix and match devices from any plugins you own.
- How do plugin devices interact with standard Quad Cortex devices?
Plugin devices behave in exactly the same way as Quad Cortex devices. You can combine them however you wish!
- Will my Quad Cortex need an internet connection whenever I want to use plugins?
No. Quad Cortex only needs an internet connection once to verify which plugin licenses you have in the iLok account connected to your Neural DSP account.
- Will I need to buy the plugins again for them to work on Quad Cortex?
No. As long as there are Quad Cortex-compatible versions, any plugins you have already purchased will function on your Quad Cortex.
- Can I use a trial of a plugin on Quad Cortex?
No. This would require Quad Cortex to be always online for the trials to run, which we did not want to implement.
- Will using a plugin on Quad Cortex use up one of the three activation slots on iLok? What if I have run out of activations?
Using a plugin on Quad Cortex will not affect the number of license activations you have available on iLok. The plugin will still run on Quad Cortex if no activations are available.
- If I have more than one Quad Cortex, how many of them can I use my plugins on?
You can use your plugins on up to 3 Quad Cortex.
- Will it be possible to buy plugins on Quad Cortex?
No. Plugins need to be purchased on our website.
- Why has plugin compatibility taken so long?
Our plugins and Quad Cortex are built on two extremely different architectures, and how we build plugins has evolved drastically over the past five years. This means that older plugins are built in entirely different frameworks to the ones we use now. Everything released prior to Archetype: Petrucci had to be rebuilt, often from the very beginning, for us to make it ready to test on Quad Cortex.
Rebuilding 13 plugins in the past two and a half years while simultaneously releasing new plugins and Quad Cortex updates so that we can continue to sustain and grow our team has been an immense challenge but one we're incredibly proud of and happy to see progress.
- How frequently will new batches of Quad Cortex-compatible plugins be released?
We expect to release new batches every few months.
- Will future plugins be immediately compatible with Quad Cortex?
Not necessarily. Some plugin features take a long time to implement on Quad Cortex, and we do not wish to delay the launch of a plugin until it is fully compatible with Quad Cortex.