Novation Peak


One note, audition knob on Peak, 0db global gain on Peak, this should be easy to replicate.

Thanks, K


The point is. I dont hear it while using it. If you hear it while you are using it and If it bothers you so much then let it go and sell it.


The main point for me is to make sure that this is not the result of me using the synth in the wrong way. For instance, several people and Novation themselves report that the headphone out appears to be noisier simply by being louder than the main outs, which I can’t confirm for both peaks I had. Mine is not particularly loud on the instrument ins of my audio interface, which may be the reason why I need more gain to get where I want, hence getting more noise.

I can hear that noise at a fairly low volume, and before sending it back, I proposed a fairly simple and reproducible Test that would confirm to me that the 55db of usable dynamics on a single voice is indeed what I can expect.

So far, there has been no takers on this proposal, only suggestions ranging from technical advice (checking the cables) to philosophical ones (just take the noise like a man…) While I am grateful to be part of such a good community, where so everybody tried to be very helpful, I can’t for the life of me understand why nobody gives me that one information that would eliminate the Peak itself as the source of the problem. If somebody here manages to get a noise floor lower than 68db after leveling the init patch, than the problem is my setup, not the Peak. If nobody can, then I consider the problem solved as well, as I can be sure that I can not do anything to improve this and enjoy my peak. I still have 10 days until I have to send it back and I am still hoping for input that helps me to determine whether I have a lemon or not.


Wait, you use the Peak in Mono only? Interesting, but isn’t that like driving a car with the handbrake constantly engaged? The Peak has, for instance, a really nice stereo reverb…


Im checking this now. And if i use a init patch, and use the audition button my numbers in cubase are similar to yours. -12db and aprox -71db.

If i check the RME Fireface mixer i get -14.5db and -80db.

If i held down a 8 note chord, i got -0,3db in cubase. So even if a single note suggests a 55-57db of dynamic range, it is higher when playing chords.

I have no gain applied on my RME interface. And to get -12db in cubase i maxed the volume pot. I have the VolRange setting to -3db on my Peak.


The S/N can also be maximized by using more than one OSC.


I think you have something strange going on with your audio interface.

I did some test.

Novation Peak into LINE IN of my RME Fireface UC. Peak setting audio to 0db. Pressing “audition” on the init sound. And not pressing.

First test with volume knob fully turned up, RME Mixer to 0 db standard setting. Noise level at around -70db

Second test with same settings, except the volume knob down to 12 o´clock. Noise level at around -81db.

In both cases, not hearable for me, with my 48y old ears… With internal settings the noise level gets even better.

The RME Fireface UC USB setup:


I’ve not been at home the last four days, I’ll be back later so I might get a chance to do the test tonight.


I know. I wish I had more inputs. Of course I can steal from something else when I need to. But to allow maximum spontaneity I like everything hooked up at once, so thats the trade off.


These levels are more than acceptable. Again, it’s none of my business, but I really don’t understand what ZaBong is worried about. This is arguably as good as it gets for outboard, consumer grade, analog electronics. At very least, it’s of no concern. If you want a quieter noise floor, work in-the-box. But seriously, some of the greatest records ever made have been made with much noisier gear, even by modern standards. This is the audio equivalent of pixel-peeping (wink).



Now that I know that the behavior of my Peak is comparable to that of others (measurably so), I can live with it. There are few or none alternatives around, at least not at that price point.


Thank you for your efforts.

My audio interface is ok, these values are more or less exactly like mine - 55-60db of distance between noise and init patch.

This settles it for me - no lemon, just a synth that has a little bit more noise than what I expected.



In general if you need to crank up the Peak volume to the max, i think there is something not properly setup with your audio interface if you can hear the noise. I had yesterday, both Digitakt and Peak connected via Line IN to my RME, and the 12 o’clock position for the Peak is most of the times ok, depending also on the sound. Also the Digitakt output can get very loud, so i usually have that setup to a 15 o’clock position.


The difference between your audio interface and mine seems to be very small - if I set my volume knob to 12 o’clock, then I too have the noise around -78db to -80db. The init patch, using only one OSC and no distortion, is one of the patches that are more on the silent side, hence the “cranking” up to -12db, where I usually set my other synths and VSTs.

Again, thanks for sending the measurements.


Only time i cranked the volume to max on my Peak was for this test. When running more osc’s, and some chords, about 12 o’clock is plenty.

I just imagine the noise gives it a “vintage” character. hehe.


The Peak has several entry points for gain staging. The OSC Mixer section is one part here. A lot of ppl. tend to forget this on a lot of synths. The result is similar to an e-guitar Level knob. The sounds can dramatically change with a little twist if the synth (guitar) is well designed.


I thought you got the best signal to noise ratio if you cranked up your instrument to full and turned down your mixer / audio interface volume accordingly… that’s the way I’ve always done it (haven’t noticed any undue noise on my Peak)

Might be wrong tho… ?!


Normally you get highest S/N ratio if you crank up the volume of the instrument and adjust on the amp.
With several gain staging on the instrument side, it might be more complicated though : e.g. the Moog Grandmother Osc mixer stage introduces (lovely) distorsion after 12 o’clock…
Might be similar on the Peak… (idk right now, only played my Peak for an hour max so far, can’t wait for tonight).
So: one has to really test each stage separately to gain a proper knowledge of how to reach the best S/N ratio.


Depending on the internal gain setting (that they introduced in the big software update), it is possible to clip the digital effects, so you have to watch out for that a bit. Other than that, the gainstaging and drive settings can definitely give some nice analogue overdrive/distortion both pre- and post-filter section. It’s one of the Peak’s strengths.


Had some time with my Peak yesterday…
I really love this synth, it’s amazing. Particularly the distortion, I’m extremely fond of the sound in the last 25% !

A beauty really.