External output on individual tracks is loud and distorted?

Hello all,

I have a problem with the ext. out routing on the I/O. Normally I have all the channels going straight to the master, no problem. Recently I have wanted to route my main vocal channel out, through the ext. out, out of channels 3 & 4 so that the sound man can mix between my main vocal and the rest of the mix (coming out of 1 & 2). When I select ext. out and channels 3 and 4, I notice both a large boost in gain, as well as some almost tape like distortion. I can turn the channel's volume down, but the signal still sounds overloaded, just quieter.

What is strange is that its definitely not any settings on the audio interface, because when I select the master to come out of 3 & 4, there is no change in the sound at all.

There seems to be something going wrong with the ext. out -

I've read the manual and searched the forums but I have not seen this problem mentioned.

Any help would be much appreciated! thanks

I am running:

Mac book pro, OS 10.5.8, Ableton 8.2.1, Motu Ultralite mk3 Hybrid


audiosophy 7 years ago | 0 comments

2 answers

  • theaeolianmachine
    8 answers
    6 votes received
    3 votes

    I just did this with my interface and I'm getting no distortion at all (Basically I routed my master to my headphones (7/8) and my initial track to my main outs (1/2), and then flipped them to try it the other way). I'm using a PreSonus FireStudio Tube. I can only imagine it's something on your interface, as I'm assuming you're getting this boost on the way out instead of from your sound guy back into some audio input. However, are you just playing back a recording or are you monitoring the input level when the gain goes up i.e monitor is set to "Auto" and you're recording or monitor is set to "In"? And are you using a limiter on your master channel? (this would be bypassed if you were sending it to ex out and could be an idea...)

    7 years ago | 1 comment
  • neuronaut
    8 answers
    14 votes received
    1 vote

    First make sure those outputs are ok - route your clean master out to the questionable channels. If it sounds clipped on 3/4 and not 1/2 then it might be the hardware.

    If the outputs are ok, then the clipping is happening somewhere in the signal path in Ableton. Clipping could be anywhere, including the source audio.

    When routing a sub mix to a separate out, you will hear characteristics that were masked out when the track was part of a larger mix. In other words, you could be uncovering an issue you just couldn't hear before.

    Good luck, and may the road rise with you!

    7 years ago | 0 comments

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