Captures | input level distortion

I have noted that, when input level is set as 0db, captures sound better than using the standard way of setting levels. When I set levels more than that the captured amp starts to sound unnaturally distorted.
You too? I refer to clean tones especially

It depends on the guitar you’re using, the output level of your pickups, the type of amp that you’re capturing & how you have your amp set.

Personally I find that for high gain sounds you don’t get the same level of gain without a significant boost at the input; however, with lower gain sounds you often get too much gain & need to cut it after the fact using the controls in the capture block.

I also find that 0.0db is not unity & that there’s a drop in signal level unless you add a boost on the input.

I mean playing captures from other people, not creating captures

That just means that the pickups in your guitar are likely higher output than the pickups in the guitar’s of the people whom created the captures that you’re using. You can compensate by either using the controls in the capture block or by adding a gain block prior to said capture block & setting it to taste (that way you can set your global input level appropriately for your guitar rather than letting the guitars of the people whom made your captures of choice dictate it).


One thing to check is impedance settings on the QC, when some presets/captures are too hot or bright etc., I usually back off the impedance from the default of 1M to 470k or 232k. The result will roll off the harshness and highs the lower you go. I used to stay at default 1M but have been running at 470k now for a few months and IMO sounds like the perfect balance. If I go back to 1M, I can hear it instantly now.

To note, I mostly live in the crunch to high gain tone areas and mostly use passive humbuckers etc.

Do bear in mind though that; if doing this, you are straying further away from actual guitar amp specifications & the captures will perform less faithfully (amplifiers typically have an impedance of 1M or higher; the purpose of being able to lower the impedance is to simulate the effects of vintage fuzz pedals etc that load down your guitar’s pickups) …not a problem if you like the results of course - just something to be aware of.

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Good points! thanks for the feedback!

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I have been browsing through these similar topics as my situation seems quite strange. For pretty much all the clean sounds I have to dial the input down a lot. Actually all the way down to -12dB. And still my PRS manages to distort the front end if I hit highest string very hard. However, the same happened with my actual Mesa. I had to dial down the quitar volume or use pedal. But the strange thing is that I still have to dial down the QC input (preferrably to -12dB) with all my guitars. The previously mentioned PRS with passive pups, ESP with active, Les Paul with passive and even with Strato with passive single coils. With all of these the input meter doesn’t go to red with 0dB input regardless of how heavíly I hit the strings, but the clean sounds are almost impossible to dial in. And whatching youtube videos of different sounds show that the sounds are similar only when dialing down. But the input meter barely shows anything anymore. With Strato it doesn’t show anything anymore, except a little if I bang it really hard. But the sounds are ok. Could anyone give a tip where to check what the heck is going on. I connect directly to QC without anything in between. :open_mouth:

I’d reach out to support if I were you; clean sounds are great for me & I have no problem dialling them in, what you’re experiencing there isn’t normal.

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Thank you very much @anon32047611 ! I will.


I’m facing the same issue. Could you let me know if support is able to help?

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@getfunked , sure thing. So far only multiple mails and checks but no solution.