Quad Cortex XL?

I’ve been a Helix user for years, and I ordered a Quad Cortex and received it about 3 weeks ago. I wanted to love it so much! The tones, the touchscreen, the captures!

To me, from a software perspective, everything about this device is right on point. But where it falls short for me in the form factor: the pedals felt a bit too close and compact, the barrel connector feels flimsy and I hated the wall wart, I REALLY missed having the onboard expression pedal of the helix, I really missed the scribble strips, and I missed having two extra switches as well.

For all those reasons I decided I was going to stick with the helix.

Fortunately my band mate wanted the QC so I sold it to him, and I get to keep it in the family and continue to witness the software flourish over time. But…

I would LOVE to have a QC in a similar form factor to the helix. Bigger, burlier, onboard expression, etc.

Has Neural made any mention of doing something like this? A QC XL or something? To me that would make this device absolutely perfect. I hope that’s a direction they end up going with it!!

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buy an expression pedal and a midi foot controller


We all have different needs it seems.
For me, the form factor was one of the biggest reasons why I prefer the Quad Cortex over Helix or Fractal.

The FM3 and HX stomp don’t have enough footswitches.
FM8 and Helix/Helix LT are too large to carry around and for the small stages I sometimes play on.

So for me, current form factor is just perfect. But of course, I understand that you may have other needs.


I think if there’s one factor Doug (CEO and conceptualizer of NDSP/QC) is known for, it’s his passion for ‘elegance’ in design. It was his catchword pretty early on and I think it’s a key element to his vision. I can’t picture him straying too far from his realized dream by developing anything radically different. However, who knows?


although it would be popular, this seems pretty unlikely. Give it 5 years and maybe? There’s no way they’re rolling out NEW hardware when demand can’t be met for the current unit and the base functionality is still being built out. The company isn’t that big, compared to line6 and fractal. Fractal releases “XL” versions simply to make more money off identical designs.

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I have used QC for live gigging for about a year now and have never had any problem with the footswitches being too close together. I do sometimes intentionally press two at a time, but rarely ever press two unintentionally.

The QC power adapter is actually quite effective when used in a pedal board. It’s quite small and doesn’t take up much space.

I integrated an expression pedal into my board with QC, solving that problem, and providing protection and a convenient case.

I have Helix too, and 10 switches isn’t enough either. I use an MC8 with QC. Not only does that provide the necessary switches, but the programmability and flexibility of MC8 provide a lot of interesting options.


All good input/thoughts, and I realize it’s all super subjective but I’m definitely still of the opinion that the Helix is a vastly better form factor for me. And I greatly dislike the idea of buying a bunch of extra accessories for the QC just to get it to the point that the helix is at out of the box.

It would be a bummer for me if NDSP doesn’t end up making a larger unit at some point, as that probably means I’ll continue to be a helix user, but I realize that the unit as it is now is working great for a lot of people, so they’ve clearly got a winner on their hands!

Just hope someone from NDSP reads this someday and considers making an XL version because I would snatch it up in a heartbeat.

O.k., so stick with Helix then. No point of all this. Serious unit don’t have expression pedal built. End of story.

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The only pointless thing here is your comment, buddy.

I was simply asking if anyone had heard of a larger unit being planned or if NDSP had ever mentioned something like it, and also wanted to throw my vote in for one. Doesn’t seem like anyone else really wants one, so that’s fine.

I love the QC as is, with an exp pedal + mc6 or 8. By the time I put it together, I have a similar footprint as a Helix, so no space saving though. I can still take it off my board when it’s convenient, and this has come in handy several times in different ways. I’m very satisfied with my setup.

That said, I think an XL version would be a good addition for Neural. I think that many would buy it, especially if it were a midi controller too.

I thought I’d chime in on this thread and chose your post to follow because I, too, found the current form factor to be nearly ideal. I didn’t want to look face-on at another piece of rack gear, such as the fractal AX, nor have a foot pedal on a desktop unit. The QC lends itself readily to desktop use but can also provide foot control like an FM3 or Line 6 unit when needed. The fact that the QC is so desk-friendly, especially considering the display angle and dual function footswitches suited my needs. I rarely use the QC on the floor, so I am considering adding actual knobs to the unit’s footswitches. (If anyone else has done so, please post your results.) My 2-cents.


Personally I think built in expression pedals with units like this, aren’t the way forward.
I love the size of the QC, and I love being able to use it on a desk. I also like to be able to choose my own expression pedal and it’s position on the floor.
You can also achieve what you want with a pedalboard so I just can’t see there being any appetite to manufacture a unit with one built in.

IMHO of course :hugs:


I live in an island, and I play in other islands like 25-30 times a year. That’s 50 flights a year. Kemper Stage doesn’t fit a cabin case. Ax8 did. Atomic Amplifire 6 does. QC also fits.

It’s very important for me. Critical. I carry everything I need (excepting the guitar) in the case (including clothes. Everything).

I’m ok with no expression pedal and with external power transformer. If they break, I won’t have to send the QC overseas.

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I am a fractal and QC user mostly. I used L6 back a while. I think the problem with BI expressions is when they break or get faulty there is a problem with the unit. I like to put my expression pedals where the angle is better. I have found the fractal ev2 is honestly one of the best with the Quad. Also a mc8 added to the QC gives you a lot of switches. Smaller than even the helix.

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I think this is my preferred way to tackle this as well. Granted it’s not a cheap option, but the Helix XL isn’t either. Plus with outboard gear you can get something that feels good to you, instead of being forced to used whatever is onboard (Morningstar/Pirate Audio for control, different EXP pedals, etc)

And +1 on being able to replace/service something that isn’t all tied into a big complicated unit as well.

I also think a MIDI foot controller is the way to go. This unit is totally full-size, for example:


I think it’s roughly the same size as my Helix LT, but because there’s no expression pedal you can imagine how much larger the switches actually are (the editor situation for this particular unit is rough, but it’s just an example). Also, so much better to let a ~$225 pedal take the abuse of being on stage while your expensive modeler sits somewhere safer.

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