dB levels, some advice please?

I am trying to balance up all my patches in the QC. Can someone please help me better understand the dB level ratings on the IO screen of the QC?

On both the Input & Output meters, the green ends at -10dB (there is a line on the meter there as well) and 0dB is at the end of the scale and well into the red.

Where is the best place to aim to get the levels? Am I aiming for -10db (IE always green)?

Also, how do you guys setup up the difference between rhythm and lead tones?

If I set up my rhythm patches to be ‘in the green’ at -10dB, does that mean I need to push the lead into the yellow/red? Or do you pull back the rhythm levels to well below the -10 level so that the lead can set to -10?

I realise there is a lot of real listening to be done and it is all a little subjective, but as a starting point kinda thing…



Interesting question, I’m very curious to see the answers of people more qualified than me.

I can tell you how I do it, but I have no clue if it is correct:
For my rhythm patches or scenes I tune the output levels to around -13dB.
Some leads are at the same level. If they need to stand out (solos with a lot of drums going on in the background), I boost them around 3dB.
In my standard patches, I usually have a normal lead and a boosted lead scene. Once hybrid mode is there, I will probably use a stomp for the boost.

The only issue I have is when using single coils versus humbuckers on my guitar. The levels are quite different, so I have to use different patches.
But ok, on a real amp I would also have to adjust the volume for that.

I think this is one of the hardest aspects to execute.
All you can really do is match them by ear at performance volume.
Some use db meter levels or other means of analyzing the numbers/levels, but there’s really too many variables for this to work effectively- unless you always play at the exact volume/environment at which you built the preset. Perhaps by combining the 2 methods (tweak by the meters initially, then adjust when at full volume) you could get a ballpark ‘feel’ for the process.

Or just assign an XP to the output block for realtime leveling during performance.

the meters on master outs are marked very low. 0 dB there is not clipping, iirc, it’s unity. You can push up till the limiters start hitting for your maximum level, and then back off till they don’t. This is the best way I’ve found to get the QC to be loud enough for backline power amps in a loud band often times


I set most of my patches to be around -9db and then with a solo boost including drives, I’m around -6db.

At those levels, I’m inputting about -8db on my interface into the computer. Never had a sound guy tell me to reduce the send coming to him yet…

My lead tones are typically 3db hotter than normal tone. I use my ears ALWAYS to match tones, not the Db meter


Yep, I do the same! Pretty much adjust by ear and parts of the song. I have coil-splitting so some of my clean patches and scenes are louder to compensate for the volume drop, about 3-4db.