Taking my Quad Cortex out going direct issues

So I have created some nice virual rigs and have them sounding really nice at home. At home I am going XLR direct mono into a small destop mixer, using one strip with it set flat then into active studio monitors. It sounds really good and I’m really happy. I use a mono setup input 1 and output 1 in stomp mode. So it is a simple rig.

I recently went out to audition for a group and used my quad cortex as the host had a similar mixer out into bigger PA speakers.

It was a nightmare. I had a lot of hiss and possible grounding issues. Any of the ODs when at home have a slight bump in DB but in the audition rig the bump was expodentially louder to the point of not beign usable. I had to ride the volume knob of the guitar to temper the noise and jump in volumes. It did effect how the audition went, not a big deal as I wasn’t really interested to play with those guys anyways but I digress. I didn’t expect to be fighting with my rig. I tried the ground lift on the input but it just made it noisier.

So after I replugged everything in at home it was back to what I expect and sounding great again.

So I’m not sure what was wrong at the audition. Others keyboard, acoustic guitar, 3 voices did not have the issue with noise I was having. I wasn’t getting clipping on the cortex itself and the channel strip didn’t seem to be clipping either. For the noise and hiss it was wierd. I know that I could gone into the input or output of the cortex and played around with all the ground lift switches and switched the switches but I just didn’t have the time to be messing around.

So I see in the output section I/O Settings Output 1/2 …

Output level (which is self explanatory)
Ground lift (again self explanatory)
Out Level (which you don’t want to go into the clipping level at your loudest)
Limiter ( which I don’t know if you can access like a compressor or similar)
Mute (self explanatory)

So my issue is when I take my Cortex out again if I get into these issues. How would I logically deal and troubleshoot if presented with these same noise, hiss and big jumps in volume from the ODs.

What did I do incorrect so it doesn’t happen again?

Quote above would be my first guess. My experience is that tones dont always translate well (no fault of qc). It would be no different with analog rigs, or dealing with bad rooms. That said, i’ve had a similar experience with a professional level stage rig that equated to conflicts from the mixer. Modern mixers can have all sorts of compressor/plugins that can adversely bake in a “not great” tone.

Re: final question- Patience, a good sound check, and healthy collaboration goes a long way!

Thanks Topher. I did find an issue within my QC after my post. My output block was showing red so it was clipping when I hit my ODs or fuzz or loud chords like say an open G. I kept checking the input and output VU readings and they were not clipping. So with further reading of the manual that was saying that if the inputs and outputs tested ok on the VU that it was another block within the chain.

So I played a lot with the output volumes and gain stacks of the OD and fuzz to try to rectify this. None of the adjustments worked without taking those FX out of the chain totally. By chance I looked at the cab block and I guess inadvertantly I had boosted the output of the cab block. So I brought that down. That was what was causing that specific clipping.

Not sure if it would’ve made any difference to the issues I originally posted about. So I’m a little shy now to take my QC out unless I use a FRFR that I can tap off to go to the PA. I do have a active 300 watt wedge with a XLR out that I will experiment with.