Quad Cortex Lacking dynamics

Let me start by saying i love my QC, live and recording its great.

But Im working on a indie rock project at the moment and using a number of the low gain / clean / vintage / small amps and i can’t complain about the selection in QC and the over all sound but I did notice the sounds lack the dynamic range from QC that I would expect when playing a clean Fender twin for instance. And the wave from in reaper suggests the same in that there’s no spikes or diferance from hard picking vrs soft picking. It seems like there is a compressor on at all times compressing the DI input even though i dont have a compressor block in the row at all, just the amp and cab. or sometimes only the amp and i load a cab in the DAW.

I wonder if Im doing something wrong? Is it just me?

My set up: Guitars: Balagure standard, passive humbuckers and split coils, Fender tele delux series with seymour duncan little 59 humbucker and split coil. Tried with the guitar connected to input 1 on QC Also tried to record a DI using the instrument input on my RME Babyface pro FS and did notice a difference when re-amping the DI into the QC, but i would rather be able to connect direct to the QC.


Do you notice a difference between recording a DI by recording
a) guitar —> RME Babyface Pro FS
b) guitar —> Quad Cortex (with an empty grid (no blocks))?

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Good suggestion… Ill check that and try to post some images.

@allanbutler01 - I would also recommend emailing support@neuraldsp.com they will be able trouble shoot and/or provide tips.

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I did some messing around with the input gain on the input out page and it wasnt clipping or anything, it was in the green but i backed it off a little and found more of the dynamics i was looking for.

I guess its getting more head room on the qc input?

I’m following. I’m feeling a bit the same, but I thought that maybe because I’m using capture block beside amp block

I am considering buying the QC, but this post chills my enthusiasm. :cold_face:

If you understand what the term “Gain Staging” means then you have nothing to worry about.

If you don’t understand then you’re going to have the same problem even on a real amp! :grinning:

To put things in the most practical terms:

  1. If your input is too low you’re not going to have any dynamics. (Because the input circuit won’t have enough gain)
  2. If your input is too high you’re not going to have any dynamics. (Because you’re saturating the input circuit)

Edit: The cortex has a handy little marker on the input VU meters that measures the optimal level. If you adjust your signal to hit that marker you’ll be fine.

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My Twocents is that the QC Lone Star amps are indistinguishable from the real thing. And the Lone Star is an outstanding rendition of the Fullerton blackface archetype, with fantastic touch sensitive dynamics. Try the clean 100W and clean 50W versions and see what you think.

Edited to add: keep it simple with just an open-back cab and spring reverb.