My Quad Cortes for live gigs

Hi guys, I want to share my rig and a video from our last concert with you.

I switched from the Axe-Fx 3 to the QC almost two years ago, and overall, I’m satisfied. However, I wish the developers would speed up the process of adding more features and effects like Fractal has. Additionally, we’re missing some software that we all need. To be honest, this is the only reason why I’m still using one preset and scenes. I’m too lazy to manually copy the same preset to 25 slots and tweak them individually. Sometimes, when I make a change, I have to repeat the process manually for all the other presets, and that can be a hassle. When I used the Axe-Fx, I used presets for each song and unique sounds harmonized based on the key and tempo. Since we use a computer for playback, I controlled the Axe-Fx so that the computer would change the scenes for each preset in each song. That’s why I’m eagerly waiting for the software.

Overall, the sound of the Axe-Fx always has a specific character, and I don’t feel the same with the Quad Cortex. However, I do notice a slightly higher latency on the QC and a smoother feeling on the Axe-Fx. I can say that it’s easier to play in the Axe FX, but I’m not sure if that’s a good thing when compared to the full dynamic range of a normal amp. Nevertheless, the sound in the QC cuts through well in the mix, and I’m happy with my sound and its stability.

I’ve built a pedalboard with two Mission pedals (one volume and one whammy) and an analog volume pedal. I send them in and out of the QC through the loop, and I can place them wherever I want within the signal chain. Currently, they’re before the FX, so they don’t affect my gain.

The only thing I need is a volume boost switch for solos. However, since I’m already using all eight switches for scenes, I can’t really assign one to activate the boost. So, I need to think about what to do in that regard.

Here is a picture of my pedalboard (yes, I put RGB LEDs inside the Mission pedals and around the pedalboard).

And here is the video from the concert. I was amazed by the sound, although it was recorded on my iPhone. The only thing I added in post-production was a 20% backing track to make it louder because the sound engineer didn’t record the channels as we requested. But I’ve learned my lesson, and now I’ll do that with our private mixer. Enjoy! - Full concert


Great sounds you got there!
What exactly do you think will the software / next update do, that enables you to use the QC presets / scenes like you did when you used the AxeFX? If I understand it correctly, Cortex Control will solely provide the possibility to edit the presets/scenes/etc. on the computer (like HX Edit does for the Line6 Helix devices) - Nothing more, nothing less… practically a remote control for the integrated editor. Or have I missed / overlooked something?
What you could do already now would be to let the computer do most of the preset/scene/taptempo/… changes via midi instead of tap dancing: Incoming MIDI

Sounds great! I’m glad the QC is working well for you, overall.

If I may offer a solution for your volume boost; I’m using a compact MIDI controller (Hotone Ampero Control) to access the QC’s Stomp buttons while it’s in Preset or Scene mode. I have a gain block (set for a gain boost) inserted at the end of each preset chain and use the Ampero to turn that gain block (along with 3 other FX blocks) off and on.

Start by assigning the gain block’s bypass function to a QC foot switch, in Stomp mode. For example, assign it to button E. To control the block from Scene mode, you’ll need to program each controller foot switch to send a cc command to set the QC to Stomp mode, then a command to activate Stomp button E, then a command to set the QC back to Scenes mode. With the QC’s currently limited MIDI capabilities, it’s a cumberson way to do it, but it works, and surprisingly quickly. Any MIDI controller capable of sending multiple commands per button push will work. If you want to do this from Preset mode, you’ll need a seperate controller foot switch, or bank, programed to return the QC to Preset mode asvthe final cc command. If your controller has more foot switches, you can use them to turn other blocks on and off or for other functions.

Eventually, I assume the QC’s MIDI implementation will be expanded so you can access block functions via MIDI, without switching to Stomp mode.

Of course, doing this in Scene mode by simply programming another scene with the volume boost is a simpler way to do it.

Hope this helps.


BTW , I want to give credit to Bryceboulie for posting this MIDI work-around.

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I was impressed with your recording being a live mix. Guitar tone sounded great IMO. Whats up with the vocalist? @23:35 you guys ended comfortably numb and you were about to take off and then… the guy with the mic… ugh! Lol. Listening with airpods. Good stuff. Thanks for sharing.


Good to know! I was wondering if this would be possible using an external midi controller. I mean, use the QC on Scene mode while being able to turn individual stomps on/off. Thanks!

That’s correct, but as mentioned, I don’t want to manually edit 25 presets. I prefer to save the presets on my computer for backup purposes rather than using the QC cloud. I haven’t tried using the cloud and I’m not really interested in trying it out. Instead, I want to store the presets in my personal cloud for backup. This way, I can easily backup and change the presets on the fly, much faster than doing it manually on the QC. I know I can currently use the computer to change presets and IRs, but I need a software solution specifically for my computer, where I can also keep my IR collection, Along with FX presets, which store specific delay settings and allow for easy copying and pasting into other presets, similar to presets in desktop plugins.

Sounds good! I know some people who use the 4-switch extension for the MFC (similar to this: 4 Switch Extension for Fractal Audio MFC-101 | Reverb), and I believe that trick would also work with the QC. For now, I’ll focus on leveling up my lead scenes, and I’ll wait for the software that allows me to create decent presets with a lead and lead boost or just a boost for each channel. That way, I won’t need all 8 scenes for each song.

Thanks, man! The sounds outside were really good, and you can hear it from the recording. I also received compliments from people in the audience about the guitar sound. As I mentioned before, the sound was captured using my iPhone while I was filming the entire concert. :blush:

After the CN song, there’s a part where the singer tells me to stop having so much fun with the audience. In this specific concert, it was a bit excessive, but we’re working on smoother variations. It works great, and people laugh. Here’s another example from a different concert (also using the QC), which was mixed directly from the front of the house console with no individual channels: (A better version of “Amit Stop” :smile:)

No kidding! During the outro the vocalist tells the guitarist to stop over the mic and then walks over and uses his hand to physically mute the guitar strings. Wasn’t there, so maybe all in good fun, if not - bad form.

great tone overall. you give a love bad name main riff tone is really cool.

I’m also not a big fan of vocalist telling you to stop and muting your strings, it has a bad vibe, kind of awkward, just my two cents.

Great setlist btw, keep on rocking!

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Happy to help! I was thrilled to stumble onto the post about this hack. Think I’ll buy another Ampero so I can access 8 functions without changing modes.

Hey Zangi

No time for the whole Video. So just jumped into some scenes:

Guitar sounds good, but all the same.
As I am bored by working with the QCs Userinterface as well, it would be the same with me.

Why don‘t we get offered a QC-pure:

  1. programmed by Computer
  2. No footswich ( use ext. Midi pedal as you need
  3. half the size half the price


Add. Programmed by computer means no Display

I suspect, from what I have seen so far in reports, videos from NAMM, etc, that Cortex Control will not allow / enable you to store presets or anything like that on your computer locally. You will pretty much have to use the cloud anyway. Cortex Control won’t probably be much more than a straight forward remote control for the editor in the QC.

Correct me if I’m wrong, I too would be happy to be able to backup everything on my own network storage.

Would you share your preset? I like your classic tone :slight_smile:

I hope they will allow us to export and import presets to our desktop machines instead of restricting us to using their cloud service. I wonder what their reasoning is for relying so heavily on the cloud, even for things like IR’s. Is it due to regulations and privacy concerns, or do they have other plans? Having the option to work with presets locally would greatly expand the community for sharing presets, similar to how Axechange operates for Axe Fx and Kemper has a similar setup.

If they limit us to using the cloud exclusively and the desktop app only provides a mirror of the QC without the ability to freely copy and paste presets, load and export IR’s and presets locally, I will strongly consider switching back to Fractal. I really don’t want to make that decision, but the lack of those essential functionalities would greatly impact my user experience.

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Sure, but I can’t figure out how. I believe it’s because I modified a preset from another user, but I can’t find out how to make it a local preset and share it. If you guide me on how to do it, you can have that preset.

Right now, if you want to share a preset you have to build it from scratch. If you copy a preset from someone else, no matter how much you modify it, you can’t make it public on the cloud.

Ok, so sorry, mate, I can’t share it with you.