OT as mixer vs actual mixer


I absolutely never ever heard of this in 40 years of mixing professionnally.



Also, as an engineer, I periodically meet regulators built with this in mind.


Is that what you’re talking about? Never saw this on a mixer yet. Typically it’s intergrated in home-hifi amplifiers. Would be nonsense to integrate this as part of the monitor outputs of a mixer: there’s no way for the mixer to know what volume you’re listening at. The Fletcher-Munson curves are relative to sound volume, not output levels.


Ok. Thanks. i’lll be sleeping calm. :румянец:


hope i’m not too far from the thread. this is my config

DN in OT ( ab )
DT in OT ( cd )

OT in zoom h6

Would i get a better sound if i go through a mixer ?

then, how can i sample DN and DT in OT ?


Hi, how do you manage to use the 4 tracks of the Digitone in only a stereo input?

I´m sequencing it from the OT (MIDI tracks 1-4 to DN tracks 1-4) but I still haven´t decided which one to sample and when. I like to transform the sound directly from the DN, but when I do it from the OT, of course all of them are affected by the effects.

I use as well a TR8 or a DT, but I don´t sequence it from the OT.

For now I´m not going to use a mixer, I´d like to use the OT for that.


depending on your mixer: yes and no.

you´re introducing more signal path which COULD mean “worse” sound. then again, some people (like me) like to overdrive the gain on some mixers (old mackies, old boss “KM” mixers) for that 90s sound.

but in your case/if you don´t need that extra “dirt”, I would say you are probably getting the best sound from that setup.

read the OT manual for how to sample (or search on here, tons of threads about this!) from the AB/CD inputs, it is possible.


yes i can use the 4 tracks of the DN , either way, just in DN or through OT. I also like to " operate " inside DN, there’s already soooo much to do here. For now, when i go through the midi OT, it’s more to experiment. I got the 3 machines 4 months ago, so i’m pretty new to the game.

Now, when i record into the zoom, i realize that the DN sound is not as good as it is through the OT headphones. Maybe because there are too many instruments playing and recorded at the same time on the same track (?), that’s why i asked if playing through a mixer would help getting a better sound.

all in all i’m pretty happy with what i get … just trying to evolve and learn


I have my OT since a month, and I´m for sure not gain staging or mixing correctly. For now I hear the DN much better without the OT than sounding through it.

I didn´t record it yet, neither in Ableton nor in my Zoom H1, I heard it with my headphones and my monitors.


did you played with the amp volume of the through in OT ?

and when you say " much better " are you talking about volume or quality of sound or both ?


I played with it, the Digitone comes with a very loud signal compared to the TR8 or the DT.

I think I hear it better in terms of quality and richness of sound, but it´s only an impression and maybe can be resolved. Anyway it has to be converted twice in the proccess, the OT´s AD input and its DA output…


maybe someone can answer this for us ?! would be nice to know what’s going on under the roof :wink:


From a technical point of view the additional A/D, D/A conversion will influence the quality, but I’ll guess it shouldn’t be that noticable if the gain staging is correct.

If using a mixer is the better alternative, depends complete on the mixer. Every analog signal path adds its own “flavour” one way or the other. That’s simply physics.

Regarding signal quality the best way is the capture the signal as near as possible to its source with the best A/D converters you can afford and then stay in the digital domain until the signal should go out to the monitors.

From a practical point of view: I’ve seen many live acts which uses the OT as hub/mixer for 2 other devices and I don’t think that’s just “laziness” to carry an additonal mixer around. In the end the “quality” is the complete soundscape you produce and not each single element. Additionally you get all the features of the OT to influence the sound.

IMHO it all depends what you want (workflow) and what you are willing to pay. I fear that just adding a cheap mixer won’t make a difference or make things even worse.


I can sample the Digitone with my XR18 which maybe has better converters than the Octatrack, but for now I´m trying to do everything I can live and only with the machines, at least to have more fun and learn how to use them. I have to learn to get the right gain staging and EQ.


The best go-to setting for the DigiTone is 2 'o clock on the master output knob. If you set it to max it sure spits out some voltage


Is it 2 o clock for the digitakt too ?


Especially for OT MK1 the max rated input level is lower than than the max rated output level for all other :3lektron: machines. For example Digitone output is rated at max +22dBu whereas OT1’s inputs are rated at +8dBu, the specs are near the back of all :3lektron: manuals… OTMK2’s inputs are rated at +17dBu. You can’t run any :3lektron:'s near full volume for input to MK1 but that doesn’t mean you can’t get a fantastic sound, you just need to mix accordingly. Often just a signal being louder is perceived to sound better but if everything is leveled out at a lower volume and just amplified more it sounds fine.

There’s tons of gain settings on :3lektron:'s so with track levels boosted/overdrive/compression and things you might get a pretty hot signal with the main volume not too high, or you could have those lower and the main volume up higher. I tend to run the main attenuaters higher like 3/4 and do the gain staging with the parameters.

With OT1’s lower input rating you need to drop the volume of pre-recorded normalized samples to mix correctly with live samples, unless you save and normalize them but that’s not nearly as fun as live sample playback. Once again just by mixing the normalized samples at lower track volume or amp vol to blend with the live samples, everything sounds fine…

As far as a mixer I’d just say as a general rule if you can connect all your gear to OT without one (2 other devices) your good to go, if you can’t grab a mixer. Running stuff through a mixer isn’t going to make OT samples sound any better unless in your opinion they need to be EQ’d or maybe saturated a bit but that’s more personal preference, it might add more noise even…


And the “loudness” setting is usually found on TV’s, car and home stereos, even the settings in smart phones. It’s usually a form of compression and used to squash the dynamic range of audio so that for example you can watch a movie late at night and the loudest sound fx and whatnot compared to quiet speech and things become near the same volume so you don’t have to turn it down when bombs blow and up when people are talking trying not to wake your roommates. For stereos listening to music it just in general makes bass sound bigger at low volume. You’d never want to use something like that if your producing audio material unless for some particular reason you intentionally want to. It destroys your dynamic range… Even flipping it on while listening to music you are no longer hearing the recording as it was made, audiophile no-no… :smile:


To be clear, that is about headroom. The nominal outputs AND inputs are rated +4dBu line level for 0dBVU as it should be for this type of equipment, so the Digitone has quiet a lot of headroom before the ouput stages reach the reference distortion amount, whereas the OTMkI inputs have only 8dB of headroom. It’s not because a device like the Digitone has lots of headroom that this changes the nominal level you should work with.

That is theoretical talk because there’s no vu-meter at all in the DN, and not really one on the OT. But it’s useful to know what we’re talking about.

The basic procedure to set up the gain stages (if one would like to have solid references, which I do) is to generate a full-scale 1kHz sine wave, turn amps and headphones all the way down, just enough to hear a bit, load that sample in the OT and play it at nominal level. Set the gains on the mixer accordingly. Now synthesize a 1kHz tone on the DN, play it and compare levels. Set gains accordingly. If you don’t have a mixer, but use the mixer of the OT, compare by ear ** the incoming audio with the sample playing back (be careful, I insist. Preferable don’t wear any headphones, one never knows). No effects inline, off course (watch out for the master track). This way you can set all the gains and levels against a reference signal that corresponds to the full dynamic range of OT’s internal processing.

If your speaker’s crossover frequency is around 1kHz then choose a lower frequency to compare, and you might need to set delay compensation to “on” in the OT if it’s not already done

**(or use the VU meters on a portable recorder if you have one , like a Zoom or Tascam and the likes) , no need for an analyzer, it’s about getting equal relative levels, not absolute SPL readings)


I was under the impression by chatting with the Don at apogee that the -10dBv/+4dBu were a reference and than the actual voltage coming out of a device will depend on whatever rating is given for the certain reference.

Using this converter it shows that +22dBu is 9.75 volts whereas +8dBu is 5.78 volts.

I talked with him about getting the right signal from my Ensemble2 into OT mk1 and was told that the -10/+4 references would put out different max voltages per device and can be figured out by the rating specs. I was told to use the -10 setting on the apogee to not clip the inputs.

Ensemble specs: