Mastering (questions)

Do you ever do final mastering of your tracks on OP-1 itself? I would appreciate tips for getting the levels right and keeping the noise down. It seems that when I record to ALBUM all the sounds are generally too quiet. However, if I turn up drive/amp I get noise and sometimes distortions.

Do you keep volume knob at a particular position? Do you use drive/amp or equalizer to generally boost volume? (Not sure if it matters.) Do you watch LED peak indicators or drive/amp compression gauge to figure out what to adjust? Do you ever turn down “master channel” sliders down? What’s your base level for the red recording level slider? (I think it defaults to something like 70%.) Etc. Share your mastering technique.

I also just started using Tascam DR-05 as my master recording device, since I occasionally want to put OP-1 through am external reverb. Bought that recorder a few years ago for something like $50. I wanted it for sampling, but it’s a joy to use for line recording. Really simple UI, useful options for level control, it can do MP3 and unlike many multi-track recorders you don’t need a separate mastering step to get the files out.

Anyway, I just accidentally found out that Tascam released a few software updates improving UI, adding reverb effects and - most importantly - overdubbing. And it does overdubbing the smart way: by creating a copy of the original file. I haven’t been this happy about a firmware update in a very long while. I guess it’s because I didn’t expect any updates on such a simple and “complete” device.