Concern over "hot" input signal with low volume

I am running a modular system through the A B inputs of the Octatrack, and I find that the even at a low volume on the modular, the signal quickly pushes the OT’s LEDs into orange and even red. I can’t get a good balance between the OT tracks and the modular system without the signal being hot. I have two questions. One, is the hot signal a danger to the Octatrack’s electronics in some way? And two, should I be considering getting an intermediate device that will simultaneously boost the volume of the modular, and not make the resulting signal so hot coming into the OT? The modular system has a limiter built into its output, but that doesn’t seem to be enough to do what I’m describing. Any suggestions? Thanks in advance!

you can lower the output of your modular a bit and then boost it’s output in the octatrack amp page to match the levels of the sample tracks you can also use the compressor in the thru tracks to boost it some more…hope that helps.

Modular is way hotter than the line level that the OT is expecting.
Think of line level as 2 volts max, ( +4dBu actually peaks at 1.736v with a nominal reading of around 1.228v if you want to get techi) :slight_smile:
Modular is a whole different beast. Some modules operate +/-5v & others will reach 10v.
You need a module that outputs line level really.
As a mixer Intellijel DubMix works for me.
Pretty sure I’ve used fx like Clouds or Echophon last in line successfully too.
Will double check when I get back in the studio.

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Have you tried turning the input gain in the mixer page down?

Thank you all for help! I’ll try adjusting the volume in a thru machine. Hopefully i won’t have to get something to adjust the line level, I’d rather not buy more gear at this point! Unfortunately, music magus, while turning down the gain does help the signal from getting too hot, I can barely hear the sound coming from the modular system. There is a HUGE difference between the volume and the strength of the signal, which I think goes to bluewolfse7en’s point.

Thanks again, everyone!

I run my modular into the OT all the time, you need to turn down the inputs in the mixer and turn them up in the thru machine/amp page. And a quieter modular signal helps e.g. use an attenuator or output module, but not necessary.

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Check out Doepfers 183-1 or 183-3, pretty cheap.
Alternatively, (if you’re feeling diy), you could wire a 50k linear pot to each output.
That’s all that the 183-1 is doing.

There’s quite a lot on muffs about this stuff btw.
Here’s one

I know some people are running modular straight into the OT, it shouldn’t do any harm but clipping is pretty likely, all depends how hot the chain is & what attenuation you have at the final stage.
Make Noise STO for eg runs 10vpp except the sub out which is 12vpp, that’s gonna clip!
Hexinverters Hot Glue I’ve had some success with but you can’t hammer it & often you’ll want to bcos it sounds great :slight_smile:
Depends what’s in your system already I guess, as I said Clouds does the trick.
Maths is common in systems & it’ll attenuate but personally I think it sounds crap & much prefer it modulating cv rather than audio.
Anyway, hope some of that helps

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I’m probably overly worrying - but I don’t want to hurt my sleek weapon of choice. Wondering if anyone has successfully been feeding modular level signals into the OT?

If I turn down the gain on the OT then it seems to handle the levels pretty nicely, but I don’t want to blow the pre-amps as at the end of the day the level going in is still hot.

Anyone had any prolonged experience with this?

Many thanks


Put +8 in the dBu column here and see if that gives you any more clarity

I’d happily put a Dark Energy or MS20mini through without any real knowledge of the levels being output, really ought to check - keen to hear feedback below too

As long as there’s no clipping, there’s no risk of breaking anything. :slight_smile:

Since typical peak levels of the modular world are way higher than line in/out levels, I would recommend to use a dedicated audio I/O module. They are not too expensive :wink: … taking some space, but the advantages pay off:

  • I/O levels are matched … Out levels of the modular is attenuated to line-in level and line-out level is amplified to modular-in level … just regard better signal/noise ratios :wink: in the latter case
  • some I/O-modules provide symmetric/non-symmetric connectiors/sockets (XLR vs phone jack), which can be an advantage by improving signal/noise ratio too …

Just bumping this thread, is anyone running modular level directly into an mpc one, If not advisable because of potential damage does anyone know of a standalone box that will convert modular level to line without having to use up space in the case . The only thing I can find that does this is this