Developer Interviews

Douglas Castro – Neural DSP

#1 – How did you get started as a developer? What drew you to the field?

Everything started when I decided to combine my passions for music (I am a bass player), and electronics engineering.

The idea of being able to create my own sounds and seemed extremely appealing, and fun.

#2 – Congrats to Neural DSP on a job well done on three ground breaking plugins but regarding the Fortin stuff can you tell us how the whole thing came together with Mike Fortin? Who reached out first and how close was Mike involved with the development of the plugin?

Mike Fortin and I have been in touch for a while. Besides from Neural DSP, I am also the chief of product design and Founder of Darkglass Electronics, a bass hardware company.

Mike and I started talking on the phone to explore some collaborations, so when Neural DSP was officially founded, I proposed the idea of collaborating on a plugin then, in early 2018.

And the rest, is history.

#3 – Your plugins are being labeled as “next gen”, what has Neural DSP done with your plugins to create another level of quality in the sound and technology?

Most people rush into things, and release half-done products.

As the founder and first engineer at Darkglass I had a very good understanding of the time and energy needed to develop state of the art systems.

I also understand engineering well, and all though my background is in hardware, not software, I’d like to think I know great talent when I see it.

I think one of the keys is that we have a culture of excellence at Neural: average and mediocrity are simply not tolerated.

We hire only the best we can find, and are extremely demanding of ourselves.

The first year of the company was spent doing research and internal tooling: making the software to make the software.

#4 – The hard work you guys put into Nameless Suite has impressed a lot of people but most notably, a lot of people that have never been impressed by amp sims in the past. Does it feel like Neural has thrown a big upper cut for amp sim tech?

It might seem that way.

It’s a good feeling for sure, that all the hard work we’ve put into making these products is noticed and appreciated.

But there is so much work to do that there is very little time to think about the past.

It’s more productive to look forward and focus on the next challenges and developments than look backwards to what we’ve done right.

#5 – By chance is there a plan to release any of the pedals from your suites as separate plugins? Surely the Grind, Zuul and Hexdrive would all be big hits on their own as they are with the suites.

We have no such plans at the moment.

#6 – Many suspected there would be more Fortin stuff coming from Neural and they were right. Was the development the same process as Nameless suite or did you find it a lot easier being that you’d done such a complete job on Nameless Suite?

Every amplifier is different. The Nameless and NTS were equally demanding for very different reasons.

The NTS was a much more technically challenging project; the amplifier has some very esoteric parts that we had to modify our code to model.

We are learning very quickly and the processes are getting much faster, but the additional complexity offset this, so the amount of time ended up being more or less the same.

#7 – We look forward to everything Neural has coming up. Can you give us a sneak peek into 2019 at all? What’s coming up that you are able to share?

Not much unfortunately.

We are working on a lot of plugins and a very massive, interesting project.

The only thing I can say is that we are just getting warmed up!

I would also like to thank Fortin Amplification, Darkglass Electronics for trusting Neural with their products, and to all of our users.

Without them none of this would be possible.

We would sincerely like to thank NeuralDSP and Douglas Castro for their time and support! If you aren’t familiar with NeuralDSP’s products, you are missing out on some of the most incredible amp sims ever made to this point as well as our choice for the pound for pound #1 bass amp sim on the market on the market today .

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