Octatrack as hub for A4 and Rytm - Volume Levels

Hi all,

My configuration is normally these 3 machines, with the A4 and Rytm running into inputs A/B/C/D on the OT. Does anyone have suggestions on volume handling?

I initially tried just keeping the A4 and Rytm at max volume (meaning the master volume knob), but it seems that causes trouble at times… signal comes in to the OT too hot and I have to either back off the volume knob (which is imprecise and may not be in the same spot next time or between projects), or I have to set my track volumes on the A4 and Rytm extremely low.

Dumb question perhaps but I’m wondering if anyone else works this way, and how they handle volumes consistently on the OT since it’s serving as a mixer.

Thanks ahead of time.

Whoah, yeah the volume on either instrument at max is way too loud; especially the AR.
I would set the direct input for both A/B and C/D on the OT at 127, but then just mix your average signal in each to taste with a standard medium volume kit on both the AR and A4.
My setup is the same and that’s what I’ve done and it’s fine.
Don’t be afraid of things being too high or low in the mix; your ears will sort it.
It is kind of weird to mix just with your ears, but honestly that’s kind of the benefit of using these instruments alone without a DAW.
With DAWs I get too obsessed with numbers and visual cues.

I use A4 in input C/D, and turn input gain, in OT mixer section, down to about -40.
The A4 volumeknob at max for reasons you mentioned.
Then a thru machine with C/D volume at max in the playback page and zero in the amp page.

It’s true, learning to trust my ears alone is an instinct worth developing and also part of why I got away from the PC.

I like having a set point on the volume knob (like 100%) though. With multiple other ways to control track/sample/patch volumes, I’d rather adjust my mix somewhere that gets saved, and have baselines like the volume knobs and OT input levels consistent between songs and projects.

Cutting down the number of variables keeps me from getting lost in the same rabbit holes I used to get lost in on the PC.

Thanks for the suggests, I’m going to try this stuff out asap.

I have been experimenting with OT as a hub use the equalizer on the main master out
never bothered with it before but it really makes it sound crisp I do one on hi and the other lo
adjust till you get what you want


Your a genius… DJ Style EQ, master track? :thinking:
I don’t why I’ve never done that. I think I’d appreciate just a hint more treble…
Adding EQ to master track in 5, 4, 3, 2, 1… :slight_smile:

Edit: I see there’s also a regular EQ… Somehow I’ve never noticed… :smile: Score!

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Not only does the regular equalizer enhance the sound in a nice way, but you gave me the idea to use a DJ EQ on the master track as a way to compensate for level differences when using the comb filter for example…
Now on a scene I can lower the EQ bands as I raise the comb filter mix, to maintain levels…
Was wondering how to go about this just last night…


Yea use both! I the reg eq boost shit up pretty nice waiting on a mixer right now and sold my old one have a few shows coming up before I get the new mixer so I’ve been working this shit out the filter is nice to have on the main to bring the beat in and out too

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The OT effects are my least explored area, I must have scanned over the regular eq a bunch of times, but just sort of grouped it in my head with the DJ eq…

I always use master track with filter and then either delay, dark reverb, or comb filter…
But now I’m going to explore EQ’s instead of filter…

Cool trick I got going with the master track and filter. You can place trigs on the master track, make filter envelope settings but leave depth at 0, then use a scene to bring up or down filter envelope depth…
Basically you get a filter envelope sequence on master track that’s brought in by a scene… :slight_smile:
You can plock different envelopes on the trigs too for a more interesting envelope sequence…


Yeah - agreed that max vol on AR is too hot, even without going into the OT. Maxing it seems to make the AR reach its saturation point, where it starts (analog) distorting, too quickly. I.e. even minimal amounts of compression make up gain will cause distortion, and individual tracks can distort too, at just mid-level track volumes.

I set the AR master knob a tiny bit more than 3:00, and this seems to leave enough headroom to add fx and fairly heavy compression make up gain without distorting the final output. I never, ever touch this knob. In fact, i should cover it with tape. The AR input on the OT is left at 0. OT master is at 0. The track that the AR is on, is set to vol 127. This way, the AR becomes the volume reference; all other OT tracks are adjusted relative to the AR. Works beautifully, plenty of headroom on both machines.

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Very similar here where I base everything around the AR. My AR rides a little lower than 3:00, I basically aim the indicator on the volume knob so that it points to just above the fx led… There’s so many gains before that though that who knows, mine could be coming out just as loud or louder than yours even…

Another thing I do is for every AR kit I make the final step is metering the volume in a DAW, and then adjusting the compressor vol and make up gain so that all my kits are the same volume…

Yea I am doing that now more on individual tracks but the past two weeks exploring the eqs together on the master sounding great messed with the compressor & dj eq combo too but keep coming back to that equalizer sucks no one has a tutorial for best performance hub set up

I’m not super comfortable putting eq’s and compressors on the master track… I want to and I do, but what gets me is that those type of fx are sort of “transparent” in a way. Like if I put a phaser or reverb on the master I can hear how much is being applied… With an eq or compressor there, I’m always uncertain of how exactly it is affecting all source sounds, and so if I start running in different sources or samples I question if the eq/compressor is helping or not and always want to reset it and do over… Hope that makes sense… :thinking:

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Yup I decided I don’t like the compressor on the master that Equlizer works great I’ve been recording diffrent takes with Marantz recorder & going back to listen after instead of just my studio speaker which I have 4 and a sub in case of weirdness I’m not hearing the equalizer is the best super crisp

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