Quad Cortex Development Update - May 2021
We began shipping Quad Cortex 7 weeks ago, and now the rush has calmed slightly; we thought it’d be great to share some data with you.
CorOS 1.0.2, 1.0.3, and beyond
We have been working on firmware updates to introduce highly requested changes and address issues affecting a small number of devices, which we have been able to identify thanks to users sending us diagnostic logs and contacting firstname.lastname@example.org.
CorOS 1.0.2 fixes a few corner cases where units would crash after a particular sequence of actions and interactions with Presets from Cortex Cloud. Additionally, we will add 5 new cabinet models. We expect this version to be available within the next few days.
CorOS 1.0.3 will come shortly after, adding Multi-Out support. Factory Presets will be updated to use Multi-Out instead of Out 1-2 by default, but you will need to modify your own Presets after updating to take advantage of Multi-Out.
Our first major update will follow later, bringing more significant changes and features that we will discuss further in a future post. Auto-engage functionality with expression bypass parameter control and improved delay/reverb performance are nearly completed. In parallel, our algorithm research and sound design teams are working on expanding our library of virtual devices continuously. A new Flanger and Freeze effects will be added, among others.
With over 3,000 units shipped and in customers’ hands, we have seen fewer than 0.5% of devices experience issues resulting in a failure. This is outstandingly low. To put that into perspective, the industry standard for failures is 2.5%. For users who have unfortunately experienced a problem, our support team has been immediately responsive and replacement devices have been shipped, or issues have been otherwise resolved.
It’s important to remember that social media is often skewed, where people who are enjoying their unit and having a great experience don’t often post, whereas users who are experiencing an issue will come to social media for answers. With a device of this nature, there are unavoidable circumstances where problems do occur. We are doing our very best to respond to these matters in well under 24 hours. Still, overall we are happy to report that the hardware is incredibly stable and statistically very unlikely to fail.
We continue to identify the root cause of any issues that appear in the wild, bringing failing units to our production facility in Helsinki to improve our testing and manufacturing capabilities even further.
Despite pushing production hard, we have made sure not to cut any corners in quality assurance. Every Quad Cortex built goes through several stages of testing before being packed and shipped.
The serialization process is conducted wirelessly, which tests connectivity and touchscreen performance. Additionally, the circuitry is inspected to make sure the assembly protocol was accurately followed.
Next, every single I/O is connected to an Audio Precision APx Audio Analyzer. This device ensures that all the analog inputs and outputs perform within our specifications and is the gold standard in this kind of instrumentation. Additionally, expression, USB, and MIDI ports are also tested, along with the touchscreen and actuators.
The last quality assurance test is a perceptual test in which trained audio engineers ensure that every feature of the product works as expected.
A visual inspection is performed between every stage to ensure flawless aesthetics.
Cortex Mobile launched and users have uploaded over 2,000 Presets and over 3,000 Neural Captures already. An update is nearing completion that will add deep links to the app, allowing you to link directly to a Preset/Capture/Profile from outside of Cortex Mobile.
We are also working on adding more useful metadata to Presets & Captures to make them better organised and easier to search.
Overall, we are incredibly proud of all we have achieved with Quad Cortex so far. We continue to ship units as quickly as possible. We know we have a lot of work to do over the following months and years, especially regarding the desktop controller, streamlining and expanding the user experience, improving Cortex Mobile & Cortex Cloud, running plugins, and the addition of new free devices and features. Rest assured, we’re not slowing down.