Overdrive behavior

Can someone please explain the A4/AK overdrive behavior to me, where it sometimes dramatically reduces volume when applied. I’m guessing this is due to signal pre-drive being too hot? Problem is I seem to prefer the slight distortion from running hot levels to the actual ‘drive’, I’m not a fan of the AK drive sound in general, but occasionally I’d like to add a little extra distortion around the filter stage, but it’s just sucking the life out of the sound. Maybe this is normal behavior on analog synths but I’m used to pedals/tape/pres etc where I’ve never hit this kind of volume/vibe reduction when pushing them. Any tips or links to relevant threads would be much appreciated.

Overdrive by nature clips transients, but induces harmonics. There are quite a few variables within that process, hence a zillion of overdrive units, if you don’t fancy the A4 OD way. Plugin wise - I find Klanghelm saturators very satisfying most of the time despite the low price of admission

Just seems kind of extreme/random on AK, some internal level monitoring would probably help but without that it’s sometimes hard to forsee how things are heading with levels etc. Probably user error I guess though.
Yeah I like klanghelm too. Use SDRR a lot ITB. Current favourite is Sly-Fi Kaya though. Put this on anything and instant crunchy lofi tape glue/goodness :wink: Rarely using real tape at all now…

It can be mysterious in terms of its effect on the sound, in that it can do some unpredictable things that are hard to reproduce without the exact same kind of patch.

Ive noticed the volume reduction you mention sometimes, generally I find it can be offset by cranking up the resonance - but depending on which type of OD you are using, it will have different results. Same goes for the type of filters - and unexpectedly, the AMP ENV… both in curve shape and settings. Also depends on how much OD is dialed in, sometimes its a very small range that will make a big difference. If you have the OD on the left side turned up high, cranking resonance usually just increases the body and fullness of the sound, and the overall volume.

Generally, while I have noticed what you mention - its certainly possible to counteract it. It may take some time learning the ins and outs of sound design on the synth - its pretty complex in the way everything interacts. Like most analog gear its not always predictable in terms of the subtleties.

Between the feedback osc, the AM, the sync, the FM and the OD - there are some really crazy sounds that seem to pop out of nowhere when you get the tweaking just right… The overall internal structure of the synth is deceptively simple - Ive discovered its far more deep than you would think just from glancing at the spec sheet.

A4 OD is located between the two filters, so yeah it’s full of surprises, esp when you start modulating parameters. I’ve got into this dynamic overdrive thing after playing with NI The Driver, which has only a couple internal envelopes for crucial parameters but God you can do so much with that

the AR Overdrive behaves the way you’d expect overdrive to behave. When overdrive/distortion clips the signal, it’s supposed to also increase amplitude since the dynamics are crushed. That said, like others have said, I believe resonance is the key. Which is kind of annoying. Makes it very good for acid type sounds, but not great when you just want to make a big beefy moog style bass sound.

That’s ok though, every synth has it’s strength and weakness and it’s unreasonable to expect 1 synth to do it all. As it stands it does everything else exceptionally.

I tend to keep the OSC levels below 70 as this stops the volume drop when applying overdrive and allows more of a fine range of control when adjusting or modulating the OVR parameter.

Fantatstick TIP ! Thanx