Gain Pain

hmmm … SICIJK’s brilliant post here sheds some light on this ! I’m not convinced(yet) this has been done with best fidelity intentions …

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Indeed! :slight_smile:
i was just inebriated by first days with the machine and i was trying to discover every single rift of it.
Those tests actually doesn’t land anywhere, just shy want to put track of what happen to levels in OT.
The main “discover” was actually that the VOL knob in PlaybackPage of a THRU machine acts like the Gain input, so it can destroy your signal…
I should read back that my post…ehehehhehe =)

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i didn’t find that, i found that i had to put the gain on the Thru Playback page to Max(+63) just in order to recover the level lost at the inputs !

Good to know others are confused by this also. I thought it I was just being stupid.

My best guess is that the want a lot of headroom for when you apply effects and such.

I have been using the volume knob to account for this live, but it’s tricky. I wish what I heard was what played back exactly, when I have my level all the way up.

I agree it’s pretty frustrating, I wish Elektron would come on and explain why this is.

Another thing to note is that when I route my sound from my mixer to the OT, the mixer says I’m fine, the sound is fine, but the OT says I’m clipping. WTF?

Am I clipping or not? I don’t really understand why the audio into the OT would clip unless it wasn’t line level, and there is some kind of amplifying. But then, why lower it by 12db for processing?

question slightly off-topic

mrdataline has a video on youtube where he has 2 through machines (volcas) and then mangling a recorded sample on a different part

I did not notice any sort of gain issues listening even though it is youtube…obviously it could have adjusted levels or something on the video

the description really didn’t get into details on the recording part

and the off-topic question, can you auto-slice a recorded sample, it almost seemed like that is what he was doing

btw, I ran into a volume issue on a trimmed sample the other day (could be my error I suppose)…the volume level on the saved trim sample fell through the floor and was mostly unusable

maybe i missed it, but have you checked out the mixer page and the AB/CD GAIN?

most samplers i’ve used have dropped the gain. you generally want to sample as loud as possible to minimize the noise floor, but playing all samples back at max volume (or polyphony on other samplers) :slight_smile: would clip.

plus, there aren’t machine presets, so for like thru machines it’d be annoying if adding more than 1 or 2 blew the OT’s headroom. or you can add a flex machine, assign it to a recorder and sample right away and so on without worrying about the levels. i mean, i think for live use it’s better to err on the side of caution.

lowering and then raising the volume internally in modern digital machines isn’t really anything to worry about, i think. it depends on what you’re sampling, but unless i’m hearing hiss or quantization noise, i generally keep everything low and boost as it’s coming out the octatrack.

if you really want to get familiar with it all/get some numbers attached to it, maybe you could try saving your samples and then load them up in a computer?

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That’ll be my next step, first understanding, second quantifying issue (if any). - it needn’t spoil the fun, I just like to know what/why is going on

Getting the right level on sampling into the OT has always been an issue for me. If I am playing into an input pair and the LED’s consistently glow yellow, my recording has clipping. If I turn down the gain so the LED’s are always glowing green (maybe the occasional yellow flicker) the recording is WAY to low, almost to the point where adding max volume back in the OT can’t get it loud enough.

Not sure if it would help, but I always wished there was some other means of input level monitoring on the screen. The greenish yellow levels of the LED’s give me alot of gray area where I’m not really sure exactly what kind of level I’m sending in to be recorded.

I usually just play with the gain settings of the input pair, volume of the instrument I am sampling and send levels of my mixer (I have mixer aux sends going to the OT inputs so I can send any channel for sampling) unjtil I get just the right balance of a decent signal that is recorded hot enough without clipping…this usually takes MANY tries to get it just right though ;(

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sorry to say this, but you can’t compare the volume of the THRU track inside OT with the signal that gets sent to OT.

your mixer and your OT has completely different headroom

I’ll post a shitty made video to show that there are no issues coming to levels inside OT.
im speaking about THRU compared to BUFFER (sampled THRU)


any qwuestions welcome…sorry for my English/pronunciation and my cold nose =)


very handy, must try this method too :slight_smile:

for clarity on this levels comparison between Thru and the Flex buffer recording - you still need to get the right Gain level on the recording depending on which Gain level you have for the Thru

If you stick with the default Gain on recording of 12dB, you need to make the Thru level of your inputs +63, if you have zero gain on the recorded track then the input gain should be at 0 (def), so both default levels are incompatible !

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Great explanation sicijk and a very clear video demo. Many people do not understand gain staging and level controls.

I hate to be “that guy” but I sample into the OT pretty much every day and have never had any problems getting a clean sample with no clipping.

Even when a sample has low recorded volume there are many opportunities to boost it. In the editor you can boost the signal by +3 db. You can also Normalize in the editor. On the track you can use track Level, Vol, Filter Dist, or Lo-Fi Dist. Each approach has its own sonic character.

Gotta say I’ve not had issues either. Mixer is always full. Thru machines are +63 & sample playback is +12dB. This has has obviously all settled with the machines I have running into the OT so you have to be careful of changes at source!

One thing I’d like to see would be compatible points of reference.
What I mean is that it’s seams odd to me to boost/cut levels in dB in the sample editor but then have mixer/thru machine inputs measured in 128 increments!

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+1. Different scales easily diverge to different “measurements” or ideas about them…
thank you very much! I appreciate a lot this from yours…your video with Neil Diamond going sweeeeeeeeeeeeeeeoooooooooooooooaeeeeeet …was one of the first video seen about that new Elektron box and one of strongest suggestions to myself to let me land on OT…thanks again… i owe you some!
Ask whenever you want :slight_smile:
dont really understand what you wrote in your last post.
From the Mixer Menu you can set the correct Input Gain(in the video i remember i was at 0 A/B Gain) to let the fed source to play at nice volume within ADC correct level (green-yellow-red). This is the starting point.
Then you can adjust VOL in Thru’s PlaybackPage,even if i usually left it untouched(see above), since i prefer to use VOL in AmpPage for regulation.
This way everything is already at “default” (for your audio programme) - meaning that you have set the path you’re going to sample. So the Buffer (Flex) will have its +12dB just to get you back to the volume you’re perceiving listening to the Thru.

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Anyone using an attenuator to manage levels in? Mono? Stereo? Recommendations? I can barely get the meter twitching on my Focusrite ISA before the signal is way too hot for the OT.

Have you looked at the gain settings in the mixer page?
I can run over 10vpp into mine from my modular! ISA should only be putting out 2v at line level.

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Thank you! I had a feeling it was something obvious and I thought I had ruled out the mixer page already.

thanks -got it —In sample edit under attribute why is gain defaulting to +12db --surely you would want to set it at 0db ?

The Gain attribute is described on page 103 of the manual.