New to the forum and to Elektron! I just got an Octratrack and loving it! Cant wait to keep on exploring and experimenting with this great thing. Had a Digitakt and loved it so much that I returned it instantly and got myself an Octatrack.
I am very passionate, stubborn and happy. I can spend a lot of time on learning about stuff I like even if it is sometimes maybe not so fun to read manuals I think it is important and sometimes fun! So I dont mind the steep learning curve with the Octatrack.
But I am a little bit annoyed with the fact that I cant seem to find a straight answer anywhere online to a question I have been having in my mind: do I use a pair (2 pieces) of TRS cables from the Blofeld output to the AB inputs on the OT or do I use TS cables? I know that TRS are for balanced inputs/outputs which the OT has but the Blofeld?
I got my Blofeld today and the Blofeld manual is not so clear on this. It says it has: "Stereo audio output left/right (only left: mono, only rights: stereo). I dont understand if this means that Blofeld has balanced outputs or balanced? And if so - how many? Should I use 2 TS cables to OT or 2 TRS to OT or 1 TRS to OT?
Does somebody use Blofeld with the OT who can maybe help me here. It might be a stupid question I know but would very much appreciate the help.
I used to have a Blofeld and if memory serves, you can use TRS as well. The signal will be the same as if you used TS. I pretty much only have TRS cables and I don’t recall any issues between the two devices. It’s a great setup, have fun!
The Blofeld can be very varied on its output level depending on the patch.
I set Blofeld volume knob to about 100 & the mix page on OT: input all the way up, but gain about -15. You can put the gain or volume knob higher if you know the patches you’re working with but if you’re experimenting (randomised patches for example) you can clip on the OT even at around those levels.
OT is a bit of a fusspot too. Usually signals hitting yellow/orange on the LEDs will sound good, but some tones can get a bit rough without even leaving the green. Try with lower pitched sine tones on headphones and you can hear artefacts coming in at pretty low levels.
All this is OT mk1 though and I believe the preamps were something that was improved for mk2.
I have the mk2 but will still do this cause my lights go above green all the time (not good then, mistake) and there is not an even volume like you say with the Blofeld.
When you say: “gain about -15” - do you mean the gain in the AMP section?
EDIT: Its very low volume coming out thru the OT from the Blofeld. Dont know why since the lights are green and when I monitor with my headphones directly from the Blofeld the sound is very loud. Its almost like OT really lowers the volume even though I have put gain to MAX (+63) in the MIX.
Volume can be influenced in various ways depending on what type of setup/machine you are using.
I would start slowly in finding the problem. Just use direct monitoring at first (no track and no machine required) and set GAIN and DIR in the mixer menu to their maximum values. Is the volume still too low?
Now I dont have any major issues with volume anymore if I also turn up the “SYSTEM VOLUME” to the max (127) in the Blofeld but the lights dont flash entirely green anymore on the input lights when I hit some keys and produce sound from the Blofeld. They flash orange.
Is that not a sigh of clipping or something? Does it mean that my sound will be recorded with clipping or distorted or something?
Btw have the octatrack mk2.
EDIT: Wait a second. The volume works a lot better in the new project than in the old. Its much lower in the old project even though I have the exact same settings. Can this be?
OT: many people - me too - are happy with inputs going orange. Generally it sounds good, you can see it on the waveform without magnifying, and probably no need to boost it to match whatever else you have going on. It’s just worth knowing that if you want your recording as clean as possible, you’ll need to stay in green and maybe do one or two +3db edits in the editor. That’s what works for me.
Blofeld: because I don’t know how loud I’m going to go with it when I start out, I like to set things up to allow for everything up to ‘very loud’. I even made a multi that outputs something ‘very loud’ when I send it lowish notes coming in on 3 channels. I calibrate the rest of the chain to that.
I recently found that some patches will distort within my Blofeld if it’s volume is above about 95-100. Then it doesn’t matter how much you attenuate after the signal leaves the Blofeld it’ll still be distorted. So now I set the volume around 99 before I start.
All that said, I’m now trying the Blofeld going through a RNC! Early days with that though. I haven’t found a setting I like and will probably go back to keeping it simple.
I like the idea of creating as much a possible straight out of the Blofeld. The biggest problem there though, is the eq. There’s often too much sub end on patches, and when using multis it builds up way too much. But usually the filters are in use and I can’t high pass within it, so that has to come later.
Another issue is using samples ‘straight’ - like I have some favourite one-shot drum samples on mine but they sound really muffled compared to any other device playing back the exact same files. I found that to match the way they sound on the OT I have to use both filters on the Blofeld. The first one is HP -12db, cutoff somewhere low. The other one is bypassed. The oscillator routing has to be set somewhere between the two, to make up for the too-steep slope of the HP filter. Can’t eq the whole output externally because that would affect the non-sample material…
Wondering if any of the Blofeld effects could be used to eq somehow… I don’t use them much…
Warning: all this just gets in the way of making music, and my most productive sessions are when I ignore this stuff
Wow! So much help! Thanks! I will think about this, learning a lot from you guys. I will not keep the volume above 99ish in Blofeld then and I know that if I put a compressor FX on the Blofeld sample afterwards it sounds good but always having to do that doesnt feel practical. Besides I like to jam with the sequencer and all the music from OT at the same time while playing Blofeld.
But you are right it gets in the way of music. Just want to know what I am doing a little bit so I get nice sound from start.
Thanks for the long reply and helpful tips! Thanks!