Q-Sys™ Integrated System Platform

QSC Q-Sys Cores 1100 and 3100

Q-Sys™ Integrated System Platform

Q-Sys™ is a complete integrated system platform that encompasses everything from the audio input to loudspeakers. Q-Sys provides all the audio routing, processing, control and monitoring necessary for any facility while maintaining the audio quality and reliability QSC has come to be known for.

Q-Sys Core Series

Q-Sys Enterprise Cores 1100 and 3100

The Core 1100 represents the second generation of Q-Sys Enterprise Cores, and truly leverages the faster development cycle of the Intel platform, with more than double the processing power of the model it supersedes at virtually no extra cost. The new Core 1100 provides up to

Q-Sys Integrated Cores 250i and 500i

The 250i and 500i Integrated Cores have the capability of directly accommodating eight Q-Sys input and/or output cards for a total onboard channel capacity of 32 channels (more if AES or CobraNet™ cards are used). Channel count may be further expanded by the addition of Q-Sys I/O Frames and other peripheral devices.

Q-Sys Peripherals, Software and Accessories

Q-Sys I/O Frame

I/O Frames can be used to physically locate the input and output connection near their sources and destinations. Dual Gigabit Ethernet connections route the audio signals through the Core for processing. Each I/O Frame can house up to four I/O cards enabling up to 16 channels of input and/or output in a single unit.

The DAB-801 extends Q-Sys backup capability to include designated QSC power amplifiers and I/O frames populated with CODP4 cards. The DAB-801 adds the ability to add N+1 amplifier redundancy to any system for up to 8 channels, as well as the ability to automatically switch all DataPort connected amplifiers from a primary I/O frame to a backup I/O frame.

The IT-8400 is an output isolation transformer accessory for QSC CX302 amplifiers, allowing up to four amps to drive up to eight 25, 70, and 100 volt distributed lines. It can be mounted in the same rack as the amplifiers.

QSC Q-Sys Designer Software

Q-Sys Designer software allows you to create designs for the Q-Sys Integrated System Platform. While you can run Q-Sys Designer and design a system without being connected to a Q-Sys Core, you will not be able to process audio or monitor amplifiers until the design is loaded into a Q-Sys Core.

Q-Sys Audio Network System Platform

Designed specifically for the rigorous requirements of large-scale applications, the power of Q-Sys is a logical choice for stadiums and arenas, attractions and theme parks, performing arts venues, transportation hubs, legislative and judicial chambers, hotels and casinos, houses of worship, corporate campuses, educational facilities or anywhere else the need exists for a powerful system-wide audio solution.

Q-Sys™ Components

The primary elements of a Q-Sys system are the Core and I/O Frame.

The Core is the brain of the system; it performs all the audio routing and processing and handles all control functions. Two types of Core are available; Server Cores and Integrated Cores and both feature centralised processing architecture. Server Cores are available in three sizes – 1000, 3000 & 4000. The smaller Integrated Cores 250i and 500i are suitable for smaller installations and have 8 slots for IO Cards.

Having all processing take place in one unit gives the designer complete flexibility while enabling simplified system redundancy. With a centralised architecture any input can be routed to any output without convoluted signal paths.

Although Q-Sys employs a centralised structure, it retains the ability to physically locate the input and output connections near their sources and destinations using I/O Frames.

Each I/O Frame can house up to four I/O cards enabling up to 16 channels of input and/or output in a single unit. An integrated core can house up to 8 I/O cards. Available cards include: a 4-input standard and a 4-input premium-quality mic/line input card, 4-channel line output card, an AES card with 4-channels of input and output, a Cobranet Card with up to 32x32 channels available and a 4-channel card for connection to QSC DataPort amplifiers. Additional cards will be added so check the QSC website for the latest information.

Group Stack | Core Front | Core Back panel | I/O Frame Front- and back panel | Touch Screen Controller | Page Station


QSC products are renowned for reliability. But sometimes, redundancy is a requirement. Q-Sys supports these multiple levels of redundancy:


  • Network redundancy may be implemented by simply adding additional network switches and cabling. In the event of a network failure, the Q-Sys components switch over instantly to the back-up network.
  • Core redundancy allows a second core to be connected to the network. Should the primary core fail, the secondary core takes over.
  • I/O Frame redundancy gives the designer the option of adding redundant I/O Frames for high-priority areas.
  • Amplifier redundancy is also possible with the use of the QSC DAB-801 (DataPort Amplifier Backup panel). This accessory connects to the inputs and outputs of five QSC DataPort amplifiers with one amp serving as a backup for the other four (4 + 1 redundancy, using 2-channel amplifiers). A second DAB-801 may be added for 8 + 1 redundancy.


Q-Sys relies on Q-LAN, a standards-based, low-latency Gigabit Ethernet network implementation. Q-LAN is responsible for audio routing between devices and ensures that all signals are transmitted from source to destination in less than 1/3rd of a millisecond. Q-Sys combines Q-LAN with audiophile quality, 32-bit floating point distribution and high performance A/D and D/A converters resulting in outstanding fidelity and a total system latency – any input to any output with up to 10 network switch hops – of less than 2.5 milliseconds.

In addition to low latency distribution, Q-Sys also supports long-haul IP streaming of audio over Wide Area Networks (WAN) as well as auto-discovery and configuration of end nodes.

Design and Setup

Q-Sys Designer Software

The system design environment was created specifically to be intuitive and easy to use. It is laid out without clutter or complicated, multi-level menus. You'll be able to apply your skills to designing the system – not figuring out the software.

Q-Sys also saves time during system set-up and commissioning. While many existing systems are agonizingly slow to assemble a new configuration, Q-Sys designs can be compiled and deployed in seconds. Once the system is designed, you will find that Q-Sys also offers a useful suite of trouble shooting and measurement tools. A test probe provides an RTA display of the signal at any point in the design. FFT-based real-time analysis and impulse response are also provided for on-site acoustical measurements. All you need to bring is a measurement microphone.

Audio Processors

One of the primary development goals was to create a platform that had nearly unlimited resources, and Q-Sys truly lives up to that goal with unrivalled processing breadth and depth.

In the Q-Sys Cores the internal processing is 64-bit providing incredible headroom and ensuring high performance. Even the smallest Core, the Core 1000, has tremendous DSP resources that are unlikely to be fully utilized in any real-world application. In addition to huge processing capacity Q-Sys offers an extensive selection of processing and control functions, including:

  • Up to 6-way crossovers available
  • Butterworth, Linkwitz-Riley, Bessel-Thompson, and Chebyshev Topologies
  • Up to 32 taps, each tap up to 60 sec.
  • Ambient Noise Compensator
  • Automatic Gain Control
  • Compressor
  • Expander
  • Noise Gate
  • Peak Limiter
  • Priority Ducker
  • Acoustic Echo Cancellation
Filters & Equalisers
  • All-Pass Filter
  • Band-Pass Filter
  • High-Pass Filter
  • Low-Pass Filter
  • Notch Filter
  • Dual-Shelf Equalizer
  • Graphic Equalizer
  • High-Shelf Equalizer
  • Low-Shelf Equalizer
  • Parametric Equalizer
Mixers & Routers
  • Gain-Sharing Automatic Mixer
  • Gated Automatic Mixer
  • Matrix Mixer
  • Room Combining Mixer
  • Router
  • Amplifier Load Monitoring
  • Audio File Player – Q-Sys will play .wav and .mp3 files directly from the Core
  • Loudspeaker Supervision
  • System Mute – Emergency Mute
  • VoIP phone integration
  • Media Stream Receiver



In addition to its powerful processing capabilities, Q-Sys provides extensive levels of system control which can be as simple or sophisticated as the application requires.

Nearly every audio processing parameter can be a command source or destination, as can switch closures or potentiometers via the on-board GPIO (General Purpose I/O). Control specific operators like the Boolean Logic or Arithmetic functions can then be utilized to enhance the management capabilities based on operator or system control input. 

Additionally, Snapshots of any or all functions can be created and recalled using the snapshot tool. When a richer user interface is needed, control panels with a custom look and feel are easily created using the User Control Interface tool. These panels can be designed by pulling elements directly from the schematic allowing pre-defined end-user control from panels that can be viewed and operated from a network computer or other web-capable devices. IP-based external control protocol ensures that Q-Sys can connect with 3rd party controllers for truly limitless control capabilities.


Of course, Q-Sys can be used with any amplifiers or loudspeakers, but the system's power increases exponentially when integrated with QSC loudspeakers and DataPort amplifiers.

Using the DataPort output card in conjunction with PowerLight™, PL2, PL3, CX, or DCA amplifiers enables complete end-to-end system-level telemetry and supervision.

Adding QSC loudspeakers to the mix opens opportunities for greater control and system reliability by enabling functions such as driver excursion limiting and speaker fault detection. For example, bringing a QSC line array powered by QSC amplifiers into the design and connecting via a DataPort card will automatically invoke the proper Intrinsic Correction™ tuning optimizing its acoustic performance. Simply set the properties for the number of speakers and the coverage angle of the array and Q-Sys handles the rest.

Q-Sys™ is the Solution

Q-Sys is a complete routing, processing and control solution. While it may be possible to create systems by combining products from other manufacturers, Q-Sys provides this capability in an elegant hardware/software platform from a single supplier ensuring that the integration process goes smoothly and operation is flawless. It is fast, incredibly powerful, reliable, and features rock-solid performance backed by the unrivaled service and support QSC has built its reputation on.

If you are designing a theme park or attraction, airport or transportation hub, hotel, casino, convention center, sports facility, church, educational campus, legislative or judicial chamber, theater, or corporate facility, Q-Sys is for you.

Are you interested in the Q-Sys Platform?

Compatible Products

Speaker Systems:
ILA - Installation Line Array
Acoustic Design S-Series
Acoustic Design C-Series