“I might have fibbed”: Jim Root is using a Neural DSP Quad Cortex live with Slipknot – after saying he’d “never” use digital amp modellers

“It’s kind of getting to the point where it’s pretty good and it’s functional, and it’s making things efficient.”

Jim Root

Jim Root. Credit: Michael Campanella/Getty

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Although he’s previously not been a fan of digital amp modellers, Jim Root has admitted he’s recently been using the Neural DSP Quad Cortex when playing live with Slipknot.

The guitarist made the switch for the Iowa titans recent intimate show at Pappy and Harriet’s in Pioneertown, California last month, which preceded their headline appearance later that week at Sick New World.

During a recent interview on the Tone Talk Podcast, Root explains why he made the switch [via MusicRadar]. “Just recently, and this is sort of blasphemous and sacrilegious, and I told myself and everybody out there that’s listening in the guitar world that I talked to on my Instagram, I might have fibbed a little bit and said ‘never’ with the digital modelling shit,” he says. “But we have new racks for smaller venues and I do have a Quad Cortex, but I’m trying to do a workaround with that. And it’s working and I used it at Pappy & Harriet’s, and I used it for Sick New World.”

Root admits that “it’s great” and is pleased that “it’s working”, but still has his reservations about going completely digital. “I’d like to stay away from the digital world as much as I possibly can,” he continues. “But it’s kind of getting to the point where it’s pretty good and it’s functional, and it’s making things efficient. But I’m still hanging on to the… nothing’s ever gonna beat a tube. You’re never really gonna get that sag, you’re never really gonna get that organic feedback coming back. It is what it is.”

Root also says that the Quad Cortex serves as a useful backup options if any of his usual Orange Rockerverb heads ever fail. “If any of those amps go down, the Cortex is there. I can still make noise and fit in with the band situation.

“It’s tough to do when you’re talking about tone,” the guitarist admits of his sonic challenges during Slipknot shows. “Fitting into a situation where there are eight other guys, it’s almost like recording a record – you’ve got to find where things sit in a mix, and when that mix changes daily because of the venue that you’re in, it’s a hurdle. It’s a hurdle for guys like my guitar tech and our front-of-house guy to figure out, how are we gonna make this stuff sound good… figure out what kind of frequencies are happening out in this world here.”

Elsewhere, Root makes the surprise revelation that he was looking to swap out all of his usual guitars for Slipknot’s anniversary shows later this year and go back to guitars he was playing at that time from brands outside of Fender and Charvel.

“I’m trying to bring some of these old guitars out, especially since we’re getting ready to do this 25th anniversary stuff and we’re getting ready to play the first album in its entirety,” he says. “I have a couple of Jacksons and a couple of PRSs that I used way back to 2000, and I’m gonna bring those guitars with me and similar guitars that I had. Let’s say up to [2004 third album] The Subliminal Verses cycle.

“Since we’re going retro like that and we’re bringing out the boiler suits again – we have the old mask vibes going on – I kind of want to tip the hat to that era and bring more of the guitars that I was using at that time with me. And fortunately, or unfortunately, that was before I was endorsed by Fender. But now Fender is Jackson, so if there’s Jacksons that I have onstage it still fits under that umbrella.

“With the PRSs [matte-finished Custom 24s with one volume knob and three-way selector] that’s just kind of a nostalgic, cool thing. I think I still have a couple of those laying around somewhere.”

For a full list of Slipknot’s upcoming dates, head to their official website.

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