OT throughput mixer audio quality?


OK, I listened the recording carefully, and it’s total crap.
Nothing to do with my dear OT, more with the pb being located between the keyboard and the chair…


I hear a solid difference between sound of external synth connected to the ext mixer and to the OT (even levels are correct). OT adds some colors and removes something from source signal. So I prefer to use external mixer in my studio and lives. Or just connect OT to A4’s inputs. But this difference is obvious only when you make one to one comparison of raw signal and signal passed thru OT’s inputs. For live I do not think that this is a big issue. If it is super important to have the best sound on stage I’d buy a cheap portable mixer.


This conversation has been going on for as long as the Octatrack has been in existence… Hell, this thread started in Jan '15.

Opinions range widely from “I wouldn’t trust the Octa for anything critical” to “It’s at least on par with RME interfaces”.

Elektron could maybe do the userbase (and their business!) a solid by doing a small comparison video – you know, content marketing and stuff :slight_smile: As long as it’s some user on a forum doing the comparison, this thing won’t be put to rest. After all, it’s not like this is something unquantifiable.

My two cents: I think this OT throughput quality discussion is a case of the ‘MPC swing’. No matter if Roger Linn himself says that every other step is delayed by a few ticks, nothing else, there’s still a throng of believers ready to say it’s magic. In other words, the discussion has transcended reason and gone into the ‘feel’ realm, which is usually fine in the context of music, but with simple, quantifiable matters is just a way to drone on endlessly.

But I’ve never done any comparison, or even listened critically, so I might be wrong, and I don’t want to argue over this. Like I said, I’m not qualified.


Wow, what a thread… just got goosebumps when i read about a “proof”… just to show that some effect (in this case a degrade in terms of soundquality) exists doesn’t mean it is a proof
. There are so many factors to consider about this issue for ex. gain-staging, the quality of your ears and the tools used for measuring

the only thing i noticed with my ears when i put my Blofeld thru it is some sort of ‘limiting’ depending on the volume i used on the Blo


Question, if the sound goes through the mixer rather than a thru track does it bypass the AD converters? So theoretically less ‘damage’ to the sound?

I don’t care too much, I run everything through the OT and think it sounds good. Mainly curious.


It always goes through AD converters, always, this has been officially confirmed, so that’s why i raised an eyebrow about the difference between Thru and Mixer-Direct, Simon’s point adds a little bit to this, it would help to clear the FX assignments to none, but i guess there still could be other internal routing differences to account for a difference although both get the same AD conversion on the way in

Do neighbor machines increase latency?

Depends on the gear. Some gear really shines when run through the OT inputs…anything digital, really.

But to my ears my Tempest loses A LOT of dynamics when it’s put into the OT either as a thru machine or DIR. To be fair DIR sounds better than thru (as expected). But for this reason I never route any of my high end analog stuff into the OT.


Why expected, out of interest ?


As already stated, clear the FX slots and there is zero difference. Both THRU and DIR go through digital conversion.


Every A/D D/A conversion does “something” to the sound. To think otherwise is being foolish and a bit ignorant. High end studios invest thousands of dollars in high end conversion, for a reason. The OT’s converters are no Prism converters, let’s just keep it at that.
If you run a Volca synth through the OT, the problem is virtually non existent, but if you run a Voyager through the OT, there will be a noticeable “difference”. It’s difficult to quantify, and it’s also difficult to notice, depending on your monitoring system, your gain staging, and the material being fed through. You’re going from a purely analog signal to a digital interpretation of that signal, with all sorts of artefacts being introduced. Of course there will be a discrepancy.
What I think is a more valid point of discussion, is if users of the OT are “happy” with its sound. If most are, then the OT converters are fine, but, as pointed out by many, there is a sometimes noticeable “squashing” of the sound. Maybe it has to do with gain staging in certain cases, but Elektron are not helping by creating devices with no gain staging metering. We’re left with our ears, and feelings.
As it’s been pointed out before, certain sources actually benefit from being fed through the OT (weak digital sources), while others just sound better when running on their own channel on a nice mixer. Context (live or studio) is also a big part of the decision. For a live show, i see no issue with running sources through the OT, it’s extremely convenient and allows for crazy manipulation. For studio use, and if you’re looking for the most high end conversion possible, running sounds through a dedicated, pristine converter will yield better results, in most cases.

I use to be a very active member of the forums, but unfortunately, a few toxic users have all but ruined it for me and many others I know. When people can actually insult each other openly without being moderated, it shows a complete lack of love from the makers of this forum, and it makes me sad to even read most threads. In any case, I think the discussion at hand is very interesting, and deserves to be talked about in a civilised and grown up manner :slight_smile:Cheers !


Since Elektronauts 2.0 started you will be very hard pushed to find a single example of open toxicity that was not challenged - the moderation is very active and the tone of the discourse is generally very positive and solution focussed - everyone is encouraged to take a more progressive stance with a view to adding to a discussion rather than just taking sides in polarising debates … disagreeing is good, it’s the manner of the disagreement which sometimes needed moderating - the example above in this old thread resulted in a self-exclusion, but it would not be tolerated now

with respect … this would sound a lot less like an entrenched opinion if you were able to substantiate it with an example from any recent threads (let alone most)

individual posts can be anonymously flagged for review

positive contributions are encouraged, as detailed in these general guidelines :thup:



Come back! We miss your knowledge and awesome vid tutorials!


no worries, i was referring to this thread, where people are telling each other to f*uck off without holding back. So this thread is a perfect example, in fact, of exactly what i’m saying. Anyways, this is not the point of this thread, and I personally would rather stay on topic. Thank you for pointing out that posts can be flagged, i was not aware of that and will make good use of that feature, if necessary :slight_smile:


Ha thank you, i miss the exchanges too ! I’m setting up a studio in Berlin at the moment, once it’s all up and running, I will get started on the videos again, it’s been too long :slight_smile:Cheers !


Technically speaking differentiating the signal from a Volca and a Voyager does not really stand up because the OT can only accept analogue signals and the output of the Volca is analogue.
Whatever limitation the OT may have with regard to fidelity will affect any signal fed into the OT. Obviously if the limitation only affects a specific frequency range a signal that does not include that specific range will not be affected.


I too think that the place is very different from what it was a while ago. And yeah, your tutorials are missed :slight_smile:

But as for the sound quality – am I very wrong in thinking that a knowledgeable person could very easily verify the amount of changes the OT’s AD/DA conversion inflicts on the sound? I often enjoy arguing over matters of opinion, but to me this doesn’t seem like one.

I mean, record a digital sample through the AD/DA of an OT and some other revered box, analyze the results. If I were savvy enough to do an objective, error-free A/B test – OT versus a(nother) set of high-end converters – I’d do it myself.


Okay - I see you flagged a post from 20months ago - as i mentioned, that’s the user that had left (dramatically), had since returned, had further discussions with the current mods concerning language etc - to be fair, we can’t go back through the years of postings (nor know what contemporaneous Moderation happened), but we can take down anything obviously offensive that wasn’t swept up and deal with any current postings :thup:

Things are different now we have migrated to a better platform for Elektronauts 2.0, the more active Moderation isn’t for all, but we do our best and we represent a broad range of views and try to be balanced and keep things genial, positive and on topic :okej:


We might as well. I’m happy to do some tests but my only interface other than the OT is a focusrite saffire 24, clean but not really pro-grade.

Stickhit, I was just thinking the same thing. Probably folks just care more about preserving the signal quality of something like a voyager or tempest more than volcas, which are potentially providing less ‘crucial’ elements of the track.

Secretmusic, keep in mind all the bickering in this thread was posted over a year ago and lots has changed since then.


Good point. Isn’t the OT recording @ 44.1kHz? I’d imagine a Moog Voyager to produce frequencies way above 22kHz which, while not being “heard” that much, can change our perception of the sounds.


There are many things that can affect our perception of sound (e.g. visual stimulus, age, health, mood, fatigue, personal biases etc.). I suspect that frequencies outside the human audio range are the least likely to affect sound perception, though they may upset your cat.