I’m sure this has been discussed… but here goes.

what is the best approach for clean sound out of the mains on the RYTM (or for that matter any elektron). I’ve always felt to keep the vol on the tracks down somewhat and boost the MAIN, but I find myself always reaching for the track vol knob. and then before you know it ALL tracks are maxed, the instrument vol is maxed, I’m then going to the OVR and boosting that. Before you know it, the output sounds like mud. Can’t hear the hats in the mix, toms are overwhelmed by the kick,e tc.

maybe I’m deaf

Why is it necessary to have sooo many volume levels?

Track VOL
Compressor VOL

I usually put the track vol knob around 70 - 80, with the Amp vol in the 120’s. (this is general, of course it varies depending on what I want emphasized) but more than anything, I wish there was a FUNC+VOL global like the MD has…

anyone have feedback on better ways to manage the volume.


Im no expert but If were talking about main outs, for me it’s all about working the compressor. I usually put its vol to about 100 (none of the vols are ever past that). Then dial in the sound.

I think a good rule of thumb is The overdrive should be used only in the event you want to use it to color things.

For me I always leave the track level at 100 so that I can use the amp vol for plock/lfo/whatever. Synth and samp level are used together. Master is at 75%.

Seriously first hit that comp and see what happens. Also check factory kits for inspiration.

My approach is:

Synth and sample 's levels : I use those for sound sculpting not for leveling as they defines sound character. Not only because the balance between the synth and the sample, but because they are pre overdrive, their values will define the amount of exciting/distortion you will get.

Amp Level: After the character is defined, I use this Level for mixing purposes.

Track level: I use this one purely for Live structure building, and I use them at max value so I don’t need to watch at it’s value while returning to default (fading in).

Comp level: this is the main Rytm level, and its value will depends on how you will work the compressor, make up gain, mix (parallel), etc.

I usually start working at a not too high Comp Level. First, defining the character, then the mix, then the compressor so it slightly affects the mix giving more rms without cranking it, then with a low gain (if available) on the device where I have the RYTM plugged, I mute all but the kick then I rise the Comp level till I heard the armonics generated by overdriving, then I lower Comp level a bit to have some margin, then I unmute the rest and listen. Go down a bit and back with the the comp level looking for changes in the armonic content, if nothing changes or the changes are pleasant that is your Comp level. Now is time to check input levels on your input device. If it is too low it could be a good idea to rise gains.

This works pretty well with my kind of music, once I define one song’s mix and comp I use it as template/reference for the whole Live set.

At last remember that a bit of distortion is usually a good thing.

Happy leveling!



it’s also difficult to reply as mixing and gain staging is RELATIVE.
it’s relative to your ears, your health condition, from what you reference the analog RYTM (is it headphone, monitors, monitors + sub, etc…)

and what kind of materials do we talk ? drums only ? drums + instrument etc…

I see your avatar and you seem to be a dj so no offense but did you see a specialist to make ears testing and see the details on your ears diagram. (Because in some way it can really help you to understand some things in case of you have some frequency deficiencies and what frequencies)

NEXT. I would say avoid the headphones every time when it’s possible. Try to layout your sounds on monitoring and then when your kits is ok you can going on headphones to build some variations, song etc…

LOUDNESS is dangerous for precision matter in sound territory search after the loudness when your track, pattern, kits is Finnish or well build. PAY Attention you need to make decision in the spectrum all elements can’t be Loud, Elements need to be choosen or sculpt relatively to the other elements. There important elements and other more slightly here but as a complement. There’s only few main elements (it’s like movies you know there’s first role and second role every role is important but an artistic choice is made.

You could also connect your rytm with a DAW and use a spectrum to visualize and tweak accordingly to place better the sounds in the stereo spectrum.
As you probably notice when you have some drums which sounds nice together it’s some how by nature they complement each other. And when some frequencies start to clash it’s not the moment to introduce another layers or Analog Four bass to a very full bass frequencies already take place by the Analog RYTM, or sample bass in the analog rytm will probably clash with the others. You need to use tools inside the box so the sound take place. OR you can mix outside the box with separated outputs (overbridge in ableton or a hardware mixer)

For that matter when have sculpted your sounds (if it’s layering you need to tweak also here) and then you need to place well the sounds together in the stereo spectrum. It’s not only levels it’s also frequencies. For levels instances, yes you have a lot of instance and i will not repeat what the excellent monsieur Bravetti already wrote.

If you do Layering pay attention to prepare your sample you need to understand that layering technique in the sound creation or you start badly and every stage after will be a mess in the stereo spectrum.

so SYNTH and sAMPLE need to glue well together also in the frequency territories and yes it’s not easy. Try to not put all stage at 127 (to me 100 is a good start you can lower if you find sample or synth is too high in the layering perception of the sound you after) or it will be a mess at the end. (Keep air and breathing)

The filter and Lfo should help to sculpt the results of the layering, should also be creative regardless the sounds you after. do not overdoo envelope filter or lower your Synth and sample volume accordingly (PAY ATTENTION to your levels honestly a spectrum to visualize what you’re doing exactly should help)
> BUT it’s also there you can make things to cut some bass or make peak shine a bit

Also some important points is decay, you know if all sounds have too long decay it should be a problem here so adjust decay also in the context of a kits of sounds :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:

AMP envelope and stage : envelope is here to sculpt also your layerings then you have some overdrive but and you need to adjust the overall levl of the tracks accordingly like reverb in fact reverb tend to gain few db in the perception of the sound you need to adjust every time you suspect you level change (or if you see it on a spectrum you hey ok i gain few db here so lowered you volume there)

I think THEN when all that is sounding nice you can go on Compressor and Distortion. OR if you prefer you can mix through the compressor but set as
Gustavo told you it’s a soft setting like a Bus Compressor so only few movement of gain reduction it’s just blinking a bit (Ratio 1:2 maximum, medium attack, medium release) so basically when you see gain reduction blinking stop there no more Gain reduction you put more in the last stage depend of what sounds you after for the AR regarding the song, the beats, or the machine to each other machines.

But compressor will make CRAP if the precedent stages is not OK…
You should also apply NYC compression which is a natural signal mixed (with the MIX parameter) with a very compressed signal. It working nicely and there’s less chance to not get something with this way of processing

Hope it help but yeah mixing is something. Sounding nice is a process and it’s STEPS… if you try to go to fast, to loud, with ears addiction to loudness and tiredness with a phone per example there’s chance honestly you failed in that whole process

Thank you all for your input, I’ll certainly apply the techniques you’ve all suggested and see the results.

great insights all of you.

Good call. Some of the AR sound packs utilize the compressor and distortion for the kits. If you like the sound characteristics of the kit, create your own kit and copy. You can learn a lot from sound packs!

look at the last step of the signal chain - usually it will be your mixer - thats where you want to boost gain the most, beforehand, with room to spare

meaning, set the master level on the device, the box, whatever to about the 12 oclock position, then forget about it forever

then crank the gain on your mixer until its too loud… set the faders at 0db or unity, then forget about it forever

keep the “master level” knob on your device motionless - never touch it… just set it to 12 oclock, and then mix all your kits internally with the track levels

if you change the total volume, just raise or lower the monitoring level on your mixer - dont ever touch the faders for the device

this way you will have a consistent volume range across your kits, also

the main point to be aware of is to really crank the gain at the end of the chain, you want a really hot signal coming in - that way you can mix tracks internally across a wide spectrum of dynamics, using only the track levels… basically you want WAY MORE volume to begin with, because its very easy to reduce volume… its much harder to continually increase it

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with all my elektrons, i have the master vol set to 100%. i then just mix using the track level and amp level.

the AR is a bit more tricky since it has the compressor at the end of its chain, but again, i just have it set at 100%, set track/amp levels accordingly, and then fiddle with the compressor until i get the sound i’m after.

May be not a good idea on what concerns to SNR, even with balanced outputs.

For people who really need to use headphone this one should help to create (with a position with a better rendering in the bass territory) and mix (with a more neutral curve)

You have 4 position with 4 curves (include one super flat : LINEAR)

(Available in Black with some custom pieces for the more FUN guys)

May be not a good idea on what concerns to SNR, even with balanced outputs. [/quote]
you could leave it at 100% if you are worried about that
but i prefer to have the wiggle room, im not concerned about SNR

the main point is to leave it be, otherwise your mixing will require more work in the long run… because its always a moving target - keeping a consistent master level eliminates that variable…

but hey - if that doesnt work for you, then obviously dont do it

Years later, but this post is super helpful. Thank you!

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