People. Places. And Things. That's the hashtag. And that's how the experiment is moving this year. Today, you get a little of both.
As for people, I first met Marc and Kaytie while they were putting up Halloween decorations the day before Halloween.
The place, the house around the corner from us that they bought just after COVID shut down the world. Their timing was perfect. The owners before them wanted to sell the house immediately and lowered the price considerably to do so. Little did they know the pandemic would cause the housing market to spike upward instead of downward.
The thing, well...you have to read a little more about the people and the places I learned about.
I didn’t ask, but I suspect they are in their mid-30’s. They are married, and have a dog that doesn’t like people. Her name is Isabella. As I was getting to know them, and Isabella getting to know my dog, I learned Kaytie works in the architecture and design field, and Marc is the creative director for School of Rock music schools. This is important, because as many of you might already know, I need to learn how to play guitar. After 25 years of trying, I could use some proper education.
And that is where the thing comes in. It's called the Quad Cortex, and it's an odd piece of musical equipment Marc asked me about. It seemed so intriguing that I had to reach out to Marc to send me a link so I could learn more about it.
I will confess right here, right now, that was a bad choice. I’m better getting to know people than machines. As I discovered after researching and watching tutorial videos on YouTube, the Quad Cortex is a very futuristic, highly technical “vulgar display of power” as the company describes it on their website.
Now, you don’t have to be a musician to appreciate what this baby can do. Armed with 50+ preprogrammed amps, over 70 effect peddles, and over 1000 perfectly captured impulse responses, the “Quad Cortex ships with one of the most extensive IR collections on the planet – and it is the only of its kind equipped with virtual microphones that can be positioned around the speaker like in a real studio.” Is that all?
No...there’s more. The Quad Cortex can also “capture, share, and download your favorite rig sounds,” which means it can learn and replicate your personal sound set ups thanks to its “unique biomimetic AI technology.”
What that basically means is that it uses biomimetic artificial intelligence technology “powered by a unique neural network architecture that is capable of autonomously analyzing, learning, and replicating an amplifier's sound and dynamic response akin to human perception.” This is not some sci-fi invention. This is the future of music where a machine can learn and replicate any amp, pedal or cabinet “with unprecedented accuracy.”
But beyond all different algorithms and technical stuff I know nothing about, the Quad Cortex offers different “scenes” which are like feelings you’re trying to capture through sound. For example, I can be chillin’ with a 60’s California vibe one minute then stomp instantly to a crunchy grunge sound from the 90’s. I guess you might say it’s a futuristic time traveling that does basically everything but play my guitar. And there we have the connection. I can’t play my guitar either.
In a text conversation with my friend Matt, a guitar snob of the best kind, I got this: "When it can use AI to fetch me a 1964 AC30 and a Tube Screamer, I might be interested." All in due time, my friend.
An ex-copywriter turned punk rock pastor and peacemaker who dedicates his life to making the world a better place for all humanity.
"that they all might be one" ~John 17:21
“Prius vita quam doctrina.”
~ St. Thomas Aquinas (1225–1274)
* “Life is more important than doctrine.”