About the new OLED screen

hey cuckoo, great video as usual. is the screen flicker you mention being exacerbated by the frame rate of your video or is that the native flicker ? thanks

This needs to be mentioned… :confused:

The OLED screen that Elektron went for, is not the worlds highest quality OLED. The pixels are lit up and switched off row by row (seemingly), and then it starts over with a little black blank in between. Really really fast. It’s sort of reminiscent of old TV’s in the way that it works.

As with old TV’s and CRT monitors, there’s a flickering nature to it. This is updating much faster than an old TV, perhaps 120Hz? But… If all the pixels were lit up constantly, like LCD screens or the OP-1 screen, there wouldn’t be a noticeable flicker, or if all the pixels were lit up at the same time, unless the blank was very long, but since this display is lit row by row, the flicker is noticeable at least to my naked eye.

Many will not notice, nor care, but if you’re sensitive, you might feel it like a slight strain on your eyes.

However, when shooting video of a screen like this, there is a lot of overlapping of how many times the screen is able to redraw, and how far it reaches into the next frame. There’s a mismatch in frame rate. When shooting with an iPhone in 30fps it looks perfectly stable. But my GH5 won’t do 30fps. It does TV standard 29,97fps, so the sync is broken and the flicker in the video is much more pronounced than in real life, and doesn’t do it justice.

I wish they went for a screen that had stable light, rather than wax on wax off like this. The reason the OP-1 screen is so pleasant to look at is that they went for an unproportionally high quality display. And it does in fact not flicker.

Unnecessarily long answer to a simple question! Sorry!!


Bummer but thanks for the candid info.


Thanks for that. Guessed that would be the case. I watched Cenk’s launch video and the flicker is there (though not as pronounced) on a couple of angled shots too.

Oh, the screen still seems to be a weak point on Elektron devices then :slight_smile:

The OP-1 screen is ridiculously good. It’s still the best screen in any synth I’ve used and it’s what, six years old now? And it makes a tangible difference to the workflow and enjoyability, IMHO.

The Elektron screens and GUIs feel like they’re due a rethink, especially when the Mk2 list prices are going up and up. I know there’s a sense that the screens are deliberately small and minimal because Elektron don’t want it becoming distracting to the hardware process or whatever. But I don’t think they need to be any larger or more complicated, just higher-resolution and easier to read would be great.

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I’m happy with MKI screens regarding it’s design and size. But generally they all lack a proper viewing angle, that’s true. The only thing I hate about them is that they often get damaged (burn, fade out). Nonsense.
I thought the new OLED screen would be a much better experience, but according to cuckoo’s report and those videos on youtube, I’m getting uncertain.

Ok, I’m not a full lucky man with screens: I bought my OP-1 with slightly burned screen, too :smiley:

I’m wondering if they’ll all be like that or if maybe it’s a fluke, or a 1rst batch problem, or if can it be improved with firmware… :thinking:

If you’re filming this screen in true 30fps (and probably 60?), it looks good on video, because the frame rates match up. But any frame rate other than that will cause frame rate mismatch and introduce flickering in the video recording.

The screen in real life does not flicker like in the videos. It looks solid. Our eyes don’t have a frame rate :wink:

It’s more of a “visual buzz” to me, most apparent when you’re “retargeting” your eyes to look at different targets. At the moment of “retargetting your eyes” the screen redrawing looks somewhat like strobe in my eyes.

But I’m working with animation and visual projections and stuff, so I’m sick sensitive to this stuff, and can spot it easily.
Let’s not blow this out of proportions. A representative from Support and Development was surprised when I told him I can see this with my naked eye. Perhaps I’m overly sensitive. I think most people will just think the screen looks shiny and cool, and will appreciate the “no-weak-spot” viewing viewing angle. But sensitive people like me will have this feel, that they either don’t or do mind.

edit. revised reference…


The screen does not flicker to naked eyes.
If you are recording the screen with a camera, it can flicker but adjusting some camera settings etc you can cure it. This can happen on most screens.
The screen wont strain your eye, though looking at it endlessly will of course - just like any other screens…

Btw, how did we get into this discussion… :confused:


I don’t find the flickering screen on videos a problem as I understand the differences between frame rates.
However your first report on issue when watching the screen sounded a bit frightening to me at first. Thanks for your recent clarification, it sounds much better :slight_smile:

Sorry, I’ve got a bit hypersensitive to screens as both my AK and AR have problems in that area :slight_smile:

Yeah sorry… if my camera could shoot in 30fps (and not NTSC standard 29.97) it would not be visible on video. That kind of flicker is the video camera’s fault. I lost my composure on this one. And I’m super sensitive to many of these OLED and LED screens. I come in peace. It’s my over ambition to make everyone around me to understand stuff, that in this case was leading down a spiral of dark matter.


Any display you see flickering in a video recording is entirely unrelated to what that display will look like to the naked eye.

Just as there’s nothing magic about the helicopter in this video:

The issue @cuckoomusic talks about is that human perception is extremely sensitive to movement in the peripheral of their vision. This helps tremendously when a lions tries to sneak up on you and it’s also rather convenient when a car tries to run you over when you’re busy crossing the street. Evolution and stuff.

All of this means that you might notice a very slight flickering when you focus back on an OLED display, the glowing LED numbers on your alarm clock, or even your computer display after your focus has been on twiddling that 303 or keeping your cat from gnawing on your speaker cables. You won’t notice any flickering when you’re looking straight at the display, it’s only when your eyes are quickly moving focus onto or away from it.

And even then it will be a very subtle effect that most people won’t ever notice or get annoyed by.

Finally, I don’t think the OLED display on the OP-1 is necessarily better. It probably simply has more ghosting which means that there’s a stronger afterglow when pixels are turned off which reduces any flickering effect. The display on the OT is probably better in the sense that it suffers less from ghosting artifacts and shows nicer animations.


I find it’s acceptable to ignore the 180 degree shutter rule for static shots like these, so you can adjust your exposure a little to get rid of the flicker.


Absolutely. No settings would do though, but I’ve now found the Synchro Scan menu that allows for much more precise adjustments on the shutter angle than the main controls. I will now shut up for the rest of my life :wink:


Flickering is not an issue with your perception if it is faster than 400hz. Some people are more sensitive to it, personally I cannot stand dimmed LEDs with 400hz or below. It is not perceived as direct flicker, but you can somehow feel the flicker, specially in peripheral vision and it can make you tired/motion sick. Personally I don’t feel well looking at the Push controller with (too-slow) flickering RGB pads.
I wonder how fast does the mk2 OLED goes?

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Thank you. I definitely perceive these flickers on OLEDS, just as I hear strobe lights fire which also annoy me.

I’m curious… does the Digitakt OLED exhibit the same behavior?

I don’t have a problem with the DT’s display, so if OT mk2 is the same then I think it would be fine for me.


Not annoyed by any flicker here, and I’m half blind right now lol (retinopathy) as in poor eyesight

Good ole’ Nyquist theory at work here in 2D!