Octatrack MK1 - Volume questions for live performance:

I have a question regarding volumes. I have watched all the available videos and done countless tests, both with external audio analyzers and by monitoring the master with the internal oscilloscope of the Octatrack recorder.

My Octatrack is the mixer to which a Digitakt is connected via the CD input. The AB input serves as an FX return for a pedal that sends the Digitakt’s CUE output.

All the sounds are sounds that I have designed myself, at reasonably low volumes to avoid clipping and to maximize headroom.

With the Digitakt’s input volume at the limit of the red on the Octatrack’s meter, and the Octatrack at the same volume as the Digitakt (they act practically like two decks), I reach volumes of around -13 dB.

This is quite low, although it’s fine for me. Once I have the correct mix at those volumes, I raise the master volume [FUCTION + LEVEL] until I reach about -3 dB without saturating or clipping on the Octatrack’s internal oscilloscope, while monitoring the Master Track.

Do you see any problems with doing this? Is there a better way? I’m afraid of getting to the club and not having enough volume without saturating my Octatrack. I suppose with the GAIN knob from the Xone 92 will reach the correct dbs… but Any advice?

I have tried using compressors on the master (I have saved some presets just in case I need them for sound check) but I prefer not to touch the dynamics.

Thank you very much.


If you’re getting a nice level at your OT output (eg -3db as you say) then there’s no reason the house mixer cant bring you up to what ever level you want.

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Thank you for the reply.
Although I reach that level after using the [FUNCTION + VOLUME] (+35…)?
suppose with the GAIN knob from the Xone 92 will reach the correct dbs…

When I was an OT newbie, I had the same issue. I took it to open mic and the sound guy was really incredulous, asking me several times if this was as loud as it got. He had everything pegged and it was hardly enough. Gain staging is difficult with Elektron boxes. I wish all boxes had a VU meter like the Heat so we would rely on a known standard.
Right now I’m painstakingly moving all my old OT projects from my mk1 into Banks in my mk2 so I have more control over levels.
But yeah, it’s frustrating when your listening on phones and “everything is loud” but then you plug it into a system with real meters and suddenly it’s all too quiet.


I have an opposite problem, i need to lower the Main Volume like crazy. I’m working with a pair of headphones with high impedance :grin:

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This exactly has happened to me before. And I would like to avoid the same situation this time.
I could manage it using a compressor and GAIN but… pain in the ass not to get clipping or to get a crazy high volume when kick is muted.
So what’s supposed to be the correct approach?
As I said, my Digitakt on INPUT is on yellow, some peaks on red and I have to get both to the same volume so I’m limited by that… weird.

I think that

I don’t have a DK, but I do have my OT running into my RME acting as a mixer and I just use it’s meters to gain stage.

Once I have one bank/song set, I then start adding other songs to new banks but check them against the Bank A song. It’s working so far and I don’t need. Pricy piece of hardware like the Heat or this meter just to check my levels to a known standard.

HAYAKUMO FORENO VU METER Made in Japan 2020 Black | Reverb?

VU meters aren’t very relevant to digital hardware, either. Great mixing tools for getting a general idea of loudness, but they’re from and for the pre-digital era and don’t tell you anything about digital headroom. Sounds like your method is working, it’s what I would do.

EDIT: I’d love a hardware VU meter, though! That one looks cool.

I’m far more concerned about the former, and not about the latter. If I only ever sat in my studio, it wouldn’t matter. But trying to mesh with other peoples equipment requires at least a general idea of levels.

That and they look cool!

If this were me i’d run the OT main outs into an AH2 and ask the engineer in advance if they have the ability to insert a limiter on the desk.

I can’t add more gear due to weight and size lugagge limitations.
I’m using a VUMETER for the mixdown and I’m able to reach more than red. My doubt was more if increasing the main volume is a good practice or it should stay at 0.

Thank you everybody!!

That’s actually the only context I can think of where a high end VU meter would actually be useful - in a studio with well calibrated monitors.

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