Organelle low volume?

Hi All
I’m finding that my organelle is considerably lower in volume than all my other instruments (i.e microkorg , electric guitar etc). Some patches are kicking out a bit more volume but i do think the organelles general output is quite weak.
what are other peoples experiences re volume?
I have read a thread on the volume being on a general limiter/compressor , guess to stop any speaker popping , but still feel the threshold is too low.

because pure data is coded by users instead of korg or guitar companies the volumes vary. But volume fixes are very very easy


The low input signal has bothered me, but I’ve not personally struggled with output volume that much. I just keep whatever the organelle is going into turned up high and start patches with the volume knob at 0.

The codec used by organelle supports both input analog gain, and digital output gain.
You can control these via alsamixer or amixer

However be careful root/ probably overrides these, so either needs to be removed or set to what you want

We could also quite easily write a ‘system’ script to allow adjustment to these in the same way as midi channel is set.

Caveat: I’ve not run up my organelle to check what the defaults are, or what the setup script is currently setting it to.

1 Like

alsa mixer has headphone level and PCM level. I think it goes PCM, then headphone. They are both set by root/ Headphone is already at 100%. I remember setting PCM to 100% and then backing off, but can’t remember why exactly… might have been experiencing distortion or clipping. I just tried setting it to 100% and it does make it louder, and haven’t heard any clipping so far. So maybe this is a change for next software update, but should be tested more carefully.

The other area affecting volume is the compressor in mother.pd. Every patch goes through this. The settings might be extreme, and worth looking into as well.

hmm, do we have access to the kernel sources used?
it appears to me, we’re using an older version of the codec code…

so for lineout, the PCM volume you are talking about, is the DAC volume (digital) which then feeds into two separate analog gain stages, one for headphone (which is the headphone level you see in alsa) and the other for line out.

in later versions of the kernel (>jul 12 2016) a separate alsa control was added for line out volume which allows control of the analog gain stage.
(the default of this prior to this change was initially defaulted quite low, but then a change was made to improve it… but without knowing which version of the code was used for the kernel - i dont know which is in use)

interestingly, a bit of googlefu, says that yes if you push the DAC volume too hard, you’ll get distortion, what you want to do is get the right amount of analog gain after it.

does beg the question … has anyone tried to update the organelle to a later OS? using pacman -Syu .
from the digging ive done so far, doesn’t seem like it would cause an issue… i could try with a spare system image i have :slight_smile: or is this a bad idea?

EDIT: and to be complete, capture volume (cvolume) is the analog gain on the input to the ADC… so id assume that can be pushed.

(later kernel versions also have controls for the codecs avc, bass enhancer and eq)

The kernel in the Organelle is 3.14, so definitely pre 2016. I did have to make one change in the alsa driver in this version to fix a click sound when Pd started. That might be fixed in the latest version, otherwise it would have to be patched again.

1 Like

Turning up that PCM control does cause distortion…I ran a full volume sine tone into dac~ (no compressor or anything), and you can’t really turn up that PCM alsa control any more before it starts clipping. so being able to adjust that final analog stage might be helpful. It may be possible to write the codec register directly using the i2cset command (have to install i2c-tools first).

I haven’t tried a full -Syu upgrade recently. last time I tried the updated kernel would not boot, but I’ll give it a try now. worst thing that happens is you have to re flash the SD card.

1 Like

Hey Folks
Thanks for all your replies and help. I haven’t delved into the Deep Sea of Data yet but will try and sail my canoe down that wave very soon.
Muchas Thankyous

Interestingly I have found using balanced cables will create a low volume/high noise floor output whereas using unbalanced cables does not. Maybe just my system, but the behavior was unexpected and worth noting.

Cheers Starke , will experiment wth that.

Hi Oweno, TheTechnoBear,

Is there any news about the low organelle volume? Could an upcoming update fix this?
I see a difference of about 10dB less than other devices that deliver a line level.
And a correction directly inside a patch isn’t a real solution.


1 Like


Same here. Using instrument cables from the Organelle into my Focusrite 6i6 2d gen and the signal never peaks above -25dB.

Has this been updated or patched? I’m rather new with my organelle, and this is the first thing I noticed. Overall a lovely instrument.