Matriarch Main Volume knob / output headroom

Mother-32, DFAM, Subharmonicon, Grandmother, Matriarch
Post Reply
penguinrock
Posts: 5
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
Posts: 370
Joined: Thu May 16, 2013 12:36 pm

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.

User avatar
hieronymous
Posts: 432
Joined: Sun Jun 13, 2004 8:09 am
Location: northern CA
Contact:

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
Posts: 21
Joined: Mon Jan 04, 2016 10:46 pm

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
Posts: 5
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.

djmalo
Posts: 5
Joined: Wed Dec 30, 2020 3:36 am

Re: Matriarch Main Volume knob / output headroom

Post by djmalo » Sun Jan 10, 2021 5:06 pm

Tried TRS cables and there was no change. Like literally barely usable signal and the noise floor... Sub Phatty, noon is almost too loud, Mother 32 is just right. Matriarch, barely audible at the same position...Have tried several different patches and consistently very low output. Any other suggestions?

Francishunt
Posts: 20
Joined: Wed Dec 02, 2020 11:45 pm

Re: Matriarch Main Volume knob / output headroom

Post by Francishunt » Mon Jan 11, 2021 6:41 pm

I’ve posted about this too.

Are they the same at 100% master volume? Moog say it should be fairly similar. It’s just the output curve is different

djmalo
Posts: 5
Joined: Wed Dec 30, 2020 3:36 am

Re: Matriarch Main Volume knob / output headroom

Post by djmalo » Wed Jan 27, 2021 3:05 am

Even at full volume, the output is much quieter than other synths. Though after speaking with Moog Support, they said outputs are about where they are meant to be. One of the points they made was that the stereo output is 6db quieter than mono. This is accurate. Unfortunate, but accurate. There still is a good deal of noise, even with the output all the way down. Have tried multiple cables and types of cable (ts, trs, mogami, proco)

penguinrock
Posts: 5
Joined: Mon Sep 16, 2019 3:39 pm

Re: Matriarch Main Volume knob / output headroom

Post by penguinrock » Thu Feb 04, 2021 9:42 pm

A few things I've learned since originally posting this:

With the Resonance knobs down, playing really low notes in LP / LP mode will FLOOD the output with so much bass that I have to dial the Master volume back to 11:00-12:00.

Parallel LP / HP mode is also exceedingly loud, and I have to push the Master volume back to 12:00.

Extreme delay feedback settings are harsh on the volume.

For nearly all other settings, I leave the Master volume knob around 3:00. It still doesn't make sense to me, but I've learned to live with it. I don't think about it much anymore; I just patch and play.

Post Reply