Another one about volume

I know. Another one. I’ve read many posts/threads about volume and gain staging but what about normalizing samples. Do you do it? I find my master to be very loud if I normalize every sample in a song/sequence. I tend to normalize my samples and then do a -3 dB two or three times… But all my samples should be of some volume concistance, right? Perhaps easier to normalize then turn the +12 dB to 0 in aef settings?! How do you guys do it? Cheers!

Its not enough to normalise a sample . You need to know why you should normalise.

Should all your samples be the same level? Depends what you are doing, kick drum sample chains? Then yes, I would want all the hits the same level just so mixing is easy.

AED gain, amp vol, track level. Not forgetting fx like compressor, filter distortion, distortion, eqs and so on. All of those give you control over levels. So essentially, it doesnt matter what level your sample sits at. Dont forget you can adjust resample save and repeat as required.

Everyone has their own workflow, you will get tons of different answers. If you know how to mix, you shouldn’t have any concerns about the level of your samples.


Well, I’ve been making music for 30 some years so yes, I know how to mix, turn faders and so on and been studying some music theory so that’s that. I know there are many approaches to have equel volume, cause loading different, say drumloops, and having to constant reach for the volume knob just after loading them into a slot seems tidious. And normalizing with +12 dB in the aef settings seems too loud to me. Just wanted to see if there are any common workflow regarding volume. Apparantly to you, there aren’t.

The +12 db is there to compensate for the automatic level drop at the inputs.

I certainly would want my kick drums samples at similar levels, my snares at similar levels, my hats etc.

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Thanks. That’s what I was going for, equal volume for same type of samples. Think I’ll normalize everything then drop the aef volume to 0 dB. So I also can normalize samples in Cubase before transfering them to OT so I don’t have to use up all the sample space on ram when using 5-10 minute samples…

I normalise every sample I record on the OT, then if I need to drop the level to preserve headroom change the gain in AED. I don’t tend to change the master level in the mixer as increasing it can result in clipping if you run your track levels fairly hot.


Precision to make it clear, the +12 db is automatically added to OT recordings, not to imported samples. After normalize, I’d definitely set AED Attributes GAIN to 0db for OT recordings.

With Master 0, LEVEL 127, VOL 0, you still have +12db headroom (with GAIN 0db).
VOL +63 adds +12db, so you reach (almost?) 0db with a normalized sample.

@danishdaycare did to check that :
Signal flow/gain staging diagram for Octatrack MKII


Great, thanx.
Will check it out!