OT AB test : comparison between source / capture


Just coming back to this now… And didn’t get very far I’m afraid.

What is the source audio and where does it originate? If the source file is already a 16bit 44.1kHz pcm audio file then it’s not an ideal test file for evaluating the AD IMHO. I do not know how well any theories back up my experiences, but IME the first generation of AD that occurs is the most defining conversion stage, and all conversions after that are less significant/defining…

ideally one would need to have a hiqh quality analog source for AD conversion quality tests. But the problem would then become, how do we evaluate the results in a way that we can share across the www? We cannot exactly send each other analog audio can we…?

I believe this is why evaluating AD conversion is such a mess on the interwebs… We are trying to discuss transitions from one world to another, but can only demonstrate the effects from one side…


Does this test prove that all the extra work put into improving the audio of the OT mk2, along with the extra cost for one as pointless?

It seems all these audio tests comparing the DT with the OT, and OT with the OT mk2, etc. always come to the conclusion that people can’t tell the difference. But then, people say there’s an obvious high-end frequency bump with the DT.

How can this be if it sounds the same as the OT, and the OT is indistinguishable from the source?


The source was a 32/96 flac

The usefulness of the test is in defining a simple scenario where one well recorded hi-res sound is subjected to an additional excursion through DA(motu) and AD(ot) as opposed to just being bit/rate reduced in an editor (retrospectively)

If the OT is being slated as colouring of flattening or bad or whatever, it’ll surely be extremely obvious in a comparison like this - on the contrary, there’s not a consensus across a handful of listeners that there was a clear difference one way or another to make it obvious enough to merit the hyperbole we sometimes see - i’d suggest that the oft perceived/reported failings are likely due to not preparing the capture well enough - that or folk splitting hairs about the last 0.1% of difference

I don’t know that Elektron have made much of the quality difference, but they’ve stated the i/o has been bumped to take and give hotter signals

Being able to take a hotter signal is good (but only if you have hotter signals to tackle) - if you’re using a weak signal in both then it’s obviously not such a disadvantage to have the OT1 - the modular world and the latest Elektrons are able to push the inputs of the MK1 OT, so I suppose it depends on what you’re trying to hook up

The other side of the debate is the metering - all the recent examinations I’ve made have involved going well into solid red territory without any effect on the signal - maybe folk have been a bit too scared to drive those inputs (and tbh, I’m not sure these tests are won and lost on the strength of the signal)

Everyone can take from this what they will, I’m taking a few positives from it for sure, wrt the mk1 OT - I think the mk2 is a move in the right direction, no idea how the DT fairs in all this


I agree that the music is way more important than the gear.
Good music recoded on shit is way better than shit music recorded on good gear, in my opinion…

But people do want to know what they’re dealing with and everybody has a different idea of sound quality…
It’s hard to tell a fidelity head to not care about their high fidelity signal path,
It’s hard to tell a Lofi head to care more about a high fidelity signal path…

Many people purchase gear/software to make their music more lofi after recoding in too good of quality for their musical tastes…
Others are after the holy grail of 32bit 192,000 best sound they ever heard and will spend more money than I make in a year on speakers…

Who’s to say anyone’s right or wrong? It’s just what they want to do…
I think many just want to know that our apples are apples and our oranges are oranges, then we eat one or the other or make a fruit salad, but we like to know what we are eating…


Well… There is a slight frequency bump in the DT, though it is subtle. I measured it:

Long ago, Ivan Tcherepnin taught me: The whole studio is the instrument. The synth, the reverb, the tape decks, the amps, the speakers, the room itself. Like any instrument, you listen to how it responds, and you play it.


Damn, I shouldn’t have read until there. I had Apples 1 but I was about to decide for Oranges 1 as well…

In the end I’m now totally convinced that the “bad sounding” legend of OT is a matter of settings.
And maybe default OT settings are not hifi.
In the other hand it seems that DT has been conceived so that such matter isn’t even a question : such settings are hidden and out of hand, but set quite properly :slight_smile:

I still prefer my OT, even if it means that I still have work to tame this crazy horse : on-the-fly stereo sampling + FX on 4 inputs totally spoiled me, there is no turning back on these aspects.

Thank you @avantronica for helping stating that hi fidelity sampling on OT is “just” a matter of taking the time to adjust the right parameters.


I think the DT, like all samplers in it’s range - past and present - is out to or perhaps unintentionally color the sound.

I think the OT on the other hand strives to be as transparent as possible, a la a studio-in-a-box.

They aren’t. It’s 16 bit by default. The switch of which is crucial, as made evident by this recent thread:

In addition to gain staging, I think the FX settings by default are less than ideal and also need to be worked.

Keep in my mind: it seems a lot of complaints are from newer owners. It aint going to set your settings for you.


Can’t tell the difference


apples 3


I think that’s the point, a lot is said about what the OT does to its captures - some of it fairly extreme, on the face of it (despite potential flaws in the comparison methodology) there’s really not a lot to shout about and it certainly doesn’t strike me as significant - essentially, there’s good opportunity to get a good capture

whether the sound out of the OT is without issue after all other things are taken into consideration is perhaps another question, but it’s been just too easy to shout about how bad it is at sampling instruments in - maybe a 16bit session on different material set up in a more exacting environment will reveal something else


Maybe you can at some point make a post relative to this one with the results. And your recommendations to records at it’s best on the OCTATRACK by how to setup and gain staging as well as inputs signal level etc… (or the setup of this recording exercice)


I certainly appreciate that train of thought @mzero! :slight_smile:
That seems a more practical way to look at it. My comment was more (insert adjective here :thinking:).


Bump for newcomer OT sampling sound quality doubters… :smile:
Don’t read the thread yet, click below and take the test!