How will you organise your signal chain - splits, splitter types? rows? parallel? serial?

Setting up the signal chain on the QC can be quite a bit challenging, because there are a so many great options. I RTFM but I am curious about how you will set up your signal chain, when using one mono input and output 1/2.

  • Will you use row 3/4 because using only row 1/2 will limit you to 50% power of the QC (that’s what I took from the manual)?
  • will you put Reverb, Delay, Pitch or other CPU intensive blocks to row 3 or 4 to better distribute the CPU hungry effects to the power of the QC?
  • will you use splits? - for instance: will you put Reverb and Delay on a parallel path (split to row 2) rather than have them sequentially, without a split?
  • which splits will you use? Balance or A/B?

Just would like to learn from your strategies.

Using one mono input, I fill up row 1 with wah, compressor, 2 drives, an amp, flanger, chorus and a tape delay.
The output of row 1 then goes to row 3. Here I add another tape delay, a reverb, and a loop.
After that I place a splitter and a cab. The output of row 3 is Out 1/2.
The splitter path goes to row 4. The output of row 4 goes to Out 3 which feeds my external power amp goes into a guitar cab, b/c I prefer cabs to monitoring thru FRFR speakers).
This is my bread and butter setting.


that’s a similar approach I’m going to take (if I get a QC) for a Wet-Dry-Wet stage rig… incorporate a guitar amp & cab for dry… this output row will have my drive pedals, comps, EQ, etc and no cab block or time based FX… and the output row for the L/R pair of FRFRs will carry my time based FX and I’ll experiment to see what combo of amp and cab blocks are best.

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sorry for the late reply, gents. This was great and detailed input. I understand you distribute 1. the cpu load to row 1 and 3 and 2. prefer a “classic” monitoring on stage through a decent amp/guitar cab solution.
Actually, before going back to pedals and amp, I had an AX8, amp and cab sims in the chain, time and modulation efx placed after amp and cab, running in an active FRFR cab (Blueamps) as my monitoring device. Now, with the Quad Cortex, I think I will follow rather your path: Run my QC (not arrived yet) OUT 3 directly into my Wonderdawg tube combo (a great Reverb deluxe clone, but no efx loop).
One thing that makes me wonder: Do you use a modelled amp in the QCs effect chain, or just a preamp, or rather no amp at all (Ingolf sems to use an amp) when you go through a real amp (tube or solid state?) and cab? The AX8 sounded odd when you forgot to switch off power amp and cab sim off when feeding the signal into a real amp + cab solution. It seems, with the QC, people seem to have good results including an amp (power amp? preamp?) in the chain.
What are your thoughts about this? I do not have any experience with the QC yet, but maybe you can lead me to the right path? My monitoring options are: A fenderish tube combo or a smallish FRFR active cab that thankfully sounds not so much like a PA cab.

I use a Seymour Duncan PS-170 into a Greenback cab. That’s where I live, be it with the QC or my Kemper Stage.
As for the amp in the QC: I’m using a modelled amp or a capture WITHOUT cab. The IR is at the end of the signal chain that feeds the main outputs.

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Dumb question - Can you explain (or point me to the correct thread that explains) the difference between an IR and a “cab”? Sorry. New to the capture/profile/modelling world and looking forward to setting up the QC when it arrives.

an IR (impulse response) is usually a combination of the speaker, the speaker cab and the mic… and that often includes mic pres… so it’s one file with multiple components… the QC has lots of IRs to choose from… and if you want to use one of your own IRs (either one you’ve created or a 3rd party IR) you have the option to load it in the Cab block Impluse selector drop down menu… nearly every social influencer who reviewed the QC on YouTube goes into all this… and of course it’s in the manual… check that stuff out… you won’t feel so dumb… LOL!

Thanks Ingolf. I had a look at your amp Seymour Duncan PS-170. Did you ever try tube amplification with modellers or does your QC/Kemper give you enough tube feeling with a solid state power amp like the Seymour Duncan. I felt with my tube combo my guitar notes literally “pop” from the speaker - call it dynamics or whatever - compared to my modeller plus FRFR cab solution. But that Seymour Duncan looks nice, fits on a pedalboard.

I firmly believe that if the modeler/profiler in question is good I don’t want any further poweramp coloration.
Therefore I look for a poweramp as neutral as possible (which is the SD PS?170).
Of course another coloration stage can sound good (another example would be tube preamps or compressors when recording) but it’s not what I want for my guitar rig.

True indeed! I remember from my Fractal times nobody from that community was keen on tube power amps because they colour the tone. Interestingly enough you seem to prefer a guitar cab to FRFR monitors. But I’ve gotten very off topic now.

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I don’t have a Quad Cortex yet, so this is a guess. I do have Helix, and its routing is similar. I think of the signal chain in 3 broad sections: front of the amp, amp/cab, and back of the amp. For one guitar, I would use the 1st path for the mono effects that go in front of the amp: wah, phasor, flanger (maybe) UniVibe, fuzz, distortion, overdrive, drive, etc. things that impact tone going into the amp. Then I would split the mono path in one or two amp/cab options, likely in stereo. These would merge back into a stereo path for stereo, modulation, delay, reverb, and final compression/EQ. This allows all front and back of the amp effects to be shared with the two amps, minimizing the DSP load and patch complexity.

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This is how I had the efx chain of my AX8 layer out. Except, that I placed wah, compressor, EQ first in the chain, where the mono efx are. Like me, you fed the signal to FRFR monitors, right?

I use a Powercab 212 and often do use the speaker models. This s another way to reduce DSP load because no IR or cab model is needed. But if I used a cab model in Quad Cortex, I would use FRFR.