Matriarch Main Volume knob / output headroom

Mother-32, DFAM, Subharmonicon, Grandmother, Matriarch
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penguinrock
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Joined: Mon Sep 16, 2019 3:39 pm

Matriarch Main Volume knob / output headroom

Post by penguinrock » Mon Sep 16, 2019 4:09 pm

Hello all,

I received my Matriarch (#349) late last week, and I've had a few days to play with it. I LOVE this synth. It's seriously incredible, and if I'm being honest, quite intimidating because there's so much available. I'm fully committed to learning and mastering this synth.

However, I have one complaint about mine... I have to push the Main Volume knob to almost maximum to get a usable range of volume in the mixer--what I mean by that is, the oscillators running clean and loud before they start to break up past 12:00 in the mixer (Great! I love it! Just not all the time, though). I have had to significantly increase the inputs of my audio interface to record the Matriarch--at max on the Main Volume knob--into Ableton.

For comparison, my Mother-32 does not have this issue. It's exceptionally loud for my system if I push its volume knob past 12:00.

The Matriarch's... quietness seems like deliberate design decision. The Matriarch's manual mentions on Pg. 8, "Raise the MAIN VOLUME knob above the 12 O'clock position, and adjust the amplifier or mixer level accordingly." Why are we pushing past 12:00 on the knob to start?

Does anyone else experience this? Am I crazy for thinking that there could have been an extra 5-10 dB on the Main Volume knob? It's not a deal-breaker for me, but I think is an odd choice.

mmarsh100
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Re: Matriarch Main Volume knob / output headroom

Post by mmarsh100 » Tue Sep 17, 2019 1:24 pm

This is just a guess, but it could be that the volume is deliberately toned down because of the multiple oscillators possibly overloading the output.

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hieronymous
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Re: Matriarch Main Volume knob / output headroom

Post by hieronymous » Tue Sep 17, 2019 11:04 pm

Is it a new thing with Moog? This thread talks about something similar with the Moog One:

viewtopic.php?f=22&t=31174

Especially this post:

viewtopic.php?f=22&t=31174#p172405
I spoke with my supplier and Moog, I also shared them some audio examples. The Moog engineers said that the master volume is configured to be at its max volume at the 1 o’clock position with additional additive gain from then on which needs to be seen in the overall gain staging of your output.

Seems a strange config but I now leave the Master volume at 1 o’clock and run it straight into my interface and use the VCA volume to tame signal.
I don't have either synth so I'm only repeating what I've seen here. I do have a Sirin, it seems like it might be similar:
NOTE: The VCOs begin to clip the filter at about 2 o’clock creating more agressive sounds.
But haven't seen negative reaction to the Sirin like the other two. Maybe they haven't ironed out the kinks yet and it will be perfected in a future update?

mildwest
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Re: Matriarch Main Volume knob / output headroom

Post by mildwest » Thu Sep 19, 2019 8:58 pm

Posted this elsewhere, but when I switched from TS to TRS cables I got way more signal level and way less noise in my mixer. YMMV. I use a QU-16. So it's now TRS to TRS, which is how the One works best too.

penguinrock
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Joined: Mon Sep 16, 2019 3:39 pm

Re: Matriarch Main Volume knob / output headroom

Post by penguinrock » Fri Sep 20, 2019 11:47 am

mildwest wrote:
Thu Sep 19, 2019 8:58 pm
Posted this elsewhere, but when I switched from TS to TRS cables I got way more signal level and way less noise in my mixer. YMMV. I use a QU-16. So it's now TRS to TRS, which is how the One works best too.
Oh gosh! I didn't even think of that. I'm a guitarist (switching over to synths), so TS cables are all I've ever used or needed. I've got a Roland Rubix22 audio interface, and it can take TRS cable input. I'll try it out and post here.

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