We take a look at how we built a redundant, stereo, Quad Cortex Rig - only use 2 channels to FOH, and incorporate MIDI Switching within the rack.

More and more artists, let alone touring artists, are moving toward modeling rigs for the consistency, effectiveness, and smaller footprint. The move toward Direct/Modeling rigs on tour is also creating a need for redundancy. Redundant rigs, of course, is not something new as artists have travelled with A/B/C (etc) for years. Incorporating these newer platforms, such as the Neural DSP Quad Cortex into redundant and reliable rigs does require some new thinking, though. 

The main thing covered within this video is that you will be able to run both the Main & Spare Quad Cortex units in stereo, whil still only eating up two channels within your input list. This can be accomplished without manually unplugging XLRs from one set of outputs to the other. Lets face it, if one of your units goes out mid-performance, the last thing you want to do is scramble and start plugging/unplugging cables.

What is a Direct Rig?

A direct rig is something that is running "Direct" to FOH. Meaning, there is typically no noise on stage from the device. Sure, artists may setup cabs/monitors on stage that aren't MIC'd up for feel - but "Direct Rig" mainly refers to running the unit directly to FOH. Gear like the Quad Cortex, Kemper, and Fractal (there are plenty other pieces of gear that do this) feature amp modeling & cab modeling to give the same "feel" - queue the debate that they do not, we know that is a can of worms!

What Gear Do I Need To Make This Redundant?

There are a couple main components that make this sort of redundancy, as well as make it easily switchable:

  • Radial Backtrack - This device is the key component to narrowing down the outputs to only two on your input list. It takes the Left and Right outputs of each Quad Cortex (or other unit) and switches between both units.

  • Voodoo Lab Control Switcher - This device is necessary to making the Radial Backtrack MIDI controllable.

  • A/B/Y Box - In this rig we use the Radial Bigshot ABY You can really use anything. The Radial Bigshot ABY allows the option to use BOTH On, meaning you can have your audio signal hitting each Quad Cortex at the same time.
    • We DO NOT recommend passively splitting the instrument signal. It is best practice to use something that is isolated.

Connecting the Voodoo Lab Control Switcher & Radial Backtrack

You will need a TRS to dual TS insert cable, like these:

Connect the Backtrack's JR-2 input to port 1 and 2 of the Control Switcher. The TIP signal of the insert cable is what controls the A/B switching function of the Backtrack. The RING signal of the insert cable is what controls the mute function.

Signal Flow

The guitar input will hit the A/B/Y switch to split the signal to both Quad Cortex's (or other units)

Run each pair of outputs to the Radial Backtrack Device to be switched between

The Backtrack's L and R outputs hit your panel (custom wired by us, of course!) to go to FOH!

To control the A/B switching, all you need is some sort of MIDI controller. This can be done with something small and simple like the Disaster Area MIDI Baby to something complex like the RJM Mastermind series of switchers. Using automated MIDI through your playback rig? No big deal. You can send the program changes from there.