Gain staging and volume for PA

I’m using QC for practice with my band. I used to go into my Boss Katana 100 but we recently bought a powered mixer with passive PA speakers and we’re all using that (except for the drummer…).

I’m having a hard time configuring my volume aka. gain staging as I understand. The main problem is I’m almost always clipping on the mixer input (red light on or flashes when I strum harder), the other problem is volume output across presets/scenes.

This is my usual setup before practice:

  1. Master volume knob is always at 100
  2. Plug the guitar into Input 1
  3. Pulldown for IO settings, go to Input 1 strum hard and set a proper input level so that I don’t clip over red. This is usually at around 0.0 dB).
  4. IO settings, go to Out 4 as this is what I’m using as output, with a TRS cable direct to mixer, and set out level to approx. -15 dB.
  5. On each Preset I select Out 4 (or Multi…) and based on some forward/backward testing for clipping on the mixer set Volume to -11.4 dB.

I usually leave Amp volume at 0.0 dB as that would be just too much fiddling over all my presets and scenes within.

Is this the right way to do this?

Also are these values expected (IO Out at -15 dB, Preset out at -11.4 dB)?

Does clipping occur with a clean (no blocks) preset?

Have you tried different cables (TS- through out 3/L & out 4/R or xlr- through out 1/L or 2/L)?

Also check your output settings by holding the output section (right side of screen) with finger press.

I haven’t though of trying if it clips with just clean signal through, will try this tomorrow at practice. I can also try another cable, I don’t have XLR though.

My output setting on each preset I use for practice is set to -11.4 dB, this along with general IO output at -15 dB is enough I don’t clip with any of the preset I use.

I set my qc master volume at 50. I use outputs 1,3 and 4 for guitar (2 stereo foh - 1 output for stage). I make sure each preset is -10db… exceptions fr boost/solo/harmonics. Each preset level being the same keeps the soundboard simple. Usually don’t need much board gain and then the master volume is steady despite the variety of mixes. Put in the time to level your outputs for ur stomps/scenes/ presets. It is a lot of swiping back and forth between patch and output