Very quiet audio

Has anyone else found this synth to be extraordinarily quiet? The only way I have been able to get a good strong signal is by boosting the filter or jacking my preamp, both of which are not optimal solutions. Anyone found a work around for this? Is this going to be addressed in future updates?

At max volume the S6 has a noticable lower volume than comparable instruments. I use -10dBv pad on the mixer input to get proper level. S6 master volume I keep around 0dB to +2dB, not any higher as this raise the noise floor.

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Ooof… Perhaps a stronger output should be added to the wishlist for the next update.

I’m fine with the level, I keep the main volume and VCA ENV at 0dB 95% of the time. No noise issues. They already made it louder in a previous firmware update. I’m worried if they make it louder it could affect the internal gain staging and lead to easier internal clipping etc.

It might be a bit lower than some other modern synths, but I’m used to dealing with real instrument level stuff like guitars, basses, and Rhodes so it’s really not a problem here. I give it some gain with a TG2 pre/DI to get it to around -18 dBfs average levels for recording.

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I really don’t think there is an issue with output level. Make sure you use Unbalanced 1/4’’ cables with it. If you use balanced cables you will lose 6-8dB of level.
Also, synth level is not standardized like it is with Guitars/Bass. Sometimes synth manufacturers use Balanced…sometimes Unbalanced…and everything in between. I don’t know why that is, but I have been using a Synth preamp for all my hardware synths that gets either Unbalanced or Balanced inputs and outputs clear transformer-based balanced out that goes straight to my interface.

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I hadn’t tried to record a synth in over a year until I recorded the Super 6 for a demo last night. And on the audio side, for me, it did exactly what I wanted. Less noise than my other synths, plenty of clean dynamic range. Yeah, even when the synth was near clipping, my interface had another 2-3 db to go. But I was very happy with my results by comping my takes, then normalizing that comped take and going from there.

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Thanks everyone! It sounds like it’s just the way I have my studio set up, rather than the synth itself. I think I am using balanced cables, so I bet swapping those out will do the trick. I’ll also try working with compression to get the audio I’m looking for.

It is actually quieter than a lot of other synths. Just not problematically so, for me.

Yes, for sure it will. The S6 is not designed to be used with balanced cables, it says so in the manual.

  1. Main Audio Outputs (Left and Right): The Super 6 is capable
    of gorgeous stereo sounds. Connect both outputs to your mixer or
    audio interface using unbalanced 1/4 inch jacks.

Compressing will make it even quieter!

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I still think it is a fair bit too low than what it should be. I am fine since my setup can handle this perfectly fine, but I do keep it cranked on the inputs of my audio interface, which is definitely very different from my other gear.
Would be nice if there was something they could do to up the levels a tad. But obviously not at the cost of issues with gain staging inside the synth itself.
People with cheaper audio interfaces may or may not have issues with this right now if they can’t afford the noise floor from boosting the input signal.

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You have to make sure you enter your interface with a balanced level. Otherwise you will have impedance issues and level/dynamic range issues as a result. Since the S6 is Unbalanced, you have to use a TS cable going out and find a way to turn into balanced signal before hitting your interface. This can be accomplished in various ways - either using a mixer, a DI–>preamp, or a dedicated synth preamp like the Avedis Audio KeyPre. I use the latter and have great results.

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You put a 2.000€ preamp between Super6 and your mixer and from this setup you are able to confirm there is no issue regarding the output level of S6 ?

This is a joke, isn’t it?

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Why do you think this is a joke? It doesn’t matter the price of the device I use. The only reason I used it is to make sure I input a balanced signal to my audio interface. Whether you like it or not, most interfaces won’t deal with Unbalanced signals correctly so you may lose level or dynamic range. Non of these behaviors are the Super 6’s fault…

You don’t have to use expensive equipment to achieve this. But you do need to understand what types of signals you’re working with and make sure you interface them correctly. I was just trying to point this out.

You can also use a mixer, a DI box, or a TS-TRS cable if you rather go straight into your interface.

If there is a joke here it is with the fact that you plug the S6 incorrectly and blame it on the device…

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As compared to my Vermona stuff (e.g.) S6 output level appears to run at 60%.
That’s all.

But I also realized that the output level very much depends on the specific settings. Big differences with each of the different patches and related settings.

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Try to use a TS-TRS cable and see if you get more gain. Also the S6 has so many ways that gain staging is affected.

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I have experienced the same problem. I solved it by:

  • Using unbalanced cables
  • Using unbalanced inputs 3/4 on my RME Babyface Pro, with a -10 dBV reference level

Now the master volume can be kept between 0 and +2 dB and is plenty loud. The rest is being handled by the various means of gain staging each preset.

The only thing now is that the factory presets are all relatively quiet, at least compared to presets of my own design. I am finding that I need to boost the VCA to +4 dB to get good levels for playing purposes, with a final adjustment on the master volume. I am not sure if this is the right approach, but it works for me so far.

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Not sure if the D/A out is already maxed or the Analog side is approaching headroom limit, but if possible it would be cool if there was a 6dB boost available to activate via shift menu on a per patch basis.

Using some of the wavetables, or the HP filter, and it gets rather quiet. Not dealbreaker, but certainly on the wishlist.

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With regards to unbalanced cables, if you are running L+R (out) to effects, do you need to stay unbalanced all the way to audio interface? For example: My setup goes Super 6 > Audio Nemesis Delay>Vongon Ultrasheer (reverb).

I currently do not have any unbalanced cables, so sorting that out today, but unsure if I just need to get unbalanced from Super 6 to Nemesis Delay. or replace all patching cables. (urgh)

Depends what the other devices prefer. But in short, no, don’t need to buy new unbalanced cables for the rest of the chain, if the other devices are happy talking to each with balanced cabling.

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Thank you for this. All sorted now and the audio level is much better. I also download your patches yesterday, been really enjoying. The p3_FizzyKosmicheStrings_HERMETECH.s6 sounds really amazing running through the VONGON Ultrasheer with a slight vibrato wobble.

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Excellent news!

Yeah that’s a cool patch, I like running it through Fromel Seraph Deluxe or a nice chewy phaser!