Looking for experiences: Using Neural Plug In for live

Hey there :smile:

I recently use the Parallax and Darkglass Plug In for nearly 90% of the time I am playing bass. The only time that I get back to classic hardware is while playing live (amp head + box).

What now came to my head is finding a solution to get the Neural Tone (I do not need all the options etc. of a Quad Cortex) even if we are playing gigs. What I was thinking of looks like this:

Bass → Interface (f.e. Presonus Studio 26c) → “Computer” → Presonus Studio One → Neural Plug In → Interface → FOH

I looked up the system requirements for the Neural software and what was wondering how much „power” my computer-device may need in order to deliver a reliable sound without drop outs and latency.
Of course the might be the option to use a laptop. But could it also work fine with something like a Surface Go 3 (8GB RAM, 128GB)? I really like the portability of these AND they may be a bit cheaper and appropriate than buying a new laptop just for runing a Plug In on it :sweat_smile:

I have to admit that I am currently not absolutely up to date on how much a small device like this Surface can offer. As I said a new laptop seems a bit like an „overkill” to me.

Is there anyone around with some thougths or maybe even experience in this topic?

Thanks a lot in advance!

That’s a pretty complex signal path for live playing, with lots of opportunities for things to go wrong. The first weak link is the USB connection from the audio interface to the computer. These are not really designed for live use. The second issue is that it’s difficult to change settings quickly in a live situation. Trying to use a mouse on a computer with a guitar in your hand in the middle of a song just doesn’t work very well.

You could simplify by using the standalone version of the Darkglass plugin, which would avoid the DAW and an extra step to get to the plugin.

But I’d probably go for the Darkglass hardware for live use.


You can kind of do a few things here. I know you already said you didn’t want to get a Quad Cortex. As far as ease of use, it really can’t be beat. However, the closest thing you could do (and what I’ve done) is run everything thru your interface and to your computer as normal. Just making sure all connections are solid, and then run a Midi Controller (MeloAudio Midi Commander being the most affordable {again, thinking barebones here}) and then just set the inputs from the Mac to your Midi Controller and you essentially have a Alternative Cortex.