I have no sense for metering audio from my Octatrack. Now mind you, I am on the cheap and only have my OT and headphones in my small apartment. Nevertheless, between the semi-precise LED metering for incoming audio, and the varying levels of sample files, my projects seem to be all across the board in terms of overall volume. Is there a way I could ‘meter’ internally to the OT to some standard? That, and make sure I’m not doing any unwanted digital damage? But as a result I want some consistency between projects. Please advise. Thanks!

If you have any way to put the signal ouput of the OT into your comuter, you can use a metering/spectrum analyser plugin.

That said, I’m sometime confused when doing this because it seems the level balance I used to use when I was using a DAW are not always applicable with the OT.
For example, when mising heavy bass stuff, The drums where at -10dB and the bass around -12/-13 dB.
I’m working on a track like this in the OT and the bass is just right at -9dB (Drums still at -10dB) soooo… I use my ears now ! :wink:

A great suggestion, will try this. One thing I can’t wrap my head around, it might be a silly question…

If the signal is clipping in the OT, and I route it through analog outputs to Ableton, how will I be able to spot the clipping utilizing Ableton’s spectrum analyzer? I mean, as the signal path isn’t digital, the input could look like it’s okay, even though it clips in the OT? Of course, there’s my ears I can use, but just wondering.

If you’re clipping in the OT, you’ll hear it as distortion, it’s not subtle. :slight_smile:

I did my metering on my digital mixing-desk… had it between everything.
then i bought this little pocket-recorder thing… that one has a nice meter…

but yeah, i agree… sound-levels in the elektron-world is eh difficult.
song 1 works… then song 2 doesnt work… fix both… song 3 didnt level out

So at this rate, i never fill my octatrack with a whole gig that sounds like what i want it to sound like.

Although not really metering this is what I frequently do:

-Setup a flexmachine on whatever free track you have

-Go to the track recorder and set it up in such a way that it records the live input. Set the record length to, say, one bar and let the recorder overwrite the previous recording over and over again.

-assign the flexmachine to the recordbuffer you are recording on

-while recording hit the sample edit screen and you should see the sample develop as it gets recorded.

-you can now have some impression of what you are recording: if the peaks bounce off the screen, you are probably too loud and if no peaks are seen, you can boost somewhat.

I admit: this is no metering but i.m.h.o. better nothing if you don’ t want to use external equipment.


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Why is it so hard to just use your ears to balance everything?

It’s not exactly hard, most of the time, but I sometimes miss being able to see how close I am to clipping the signal.

It’s not exactly hard, most of the time, but I sometimes miss being able to see how close I am to clipping the signal.[/quote]
I agree:

Most of the time metering is not at all an issue in what I am doing on the OT.
I use my ears and watch the leds. I use what I described above sporadically when I am uncertain and want to know what the OT is receiving.

I find my thru machines vary so much. Sometimes my input is quiet as hell. Maybe I should up the main out but I usually have it set to 0

Typically I have main out set to max, and track levels set to max as well. With samples normalized to -1dBFS, I usually end up with my Amp Vol parameters set quite low, around -50 to -20.

I agree meters would be nice, but I have a feeling we won’t see it. Talking to other gear manufacturers over the years, it sounds like having reliable and accurate metering in realtime is a huge CPU overhead.

Doesn’t everything clip and distort?

I had this issue once upon a time and re-tweaked all my songs to similar values using an external level meter (in this case a tc finalizer).

Now when I build new songs I use this as a reference, in fact its always on the main OT outs

It’s actually not (I’m realizing it more & more) but I think a lot of us have a “visual addiction” resulting in years of visual feedback from DAWs (and a word that is more and more visual based).

I’m not sure my tracks sound better after I do the trick I talked about before but I still do that…
I usually do this when the track is fully composed so what I’ll do from now on is record the track in the computer before doing it and once again after… If it sounds better before, I should be able to convince myself to trust my ears…

I’ll keep you posted about how the rehab is going ! :wink: