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June 2017 Giveaway

The volume toggle switch on MOTU’s 896

“When I set the MOTU 896’s volume toggle switch to the downward position “Phones only”, my speakers connected to the Main outs are really loud. Why?”

This is normal, so be careful with that switch! The “Volume” knob on the 896 has two settings controlled by the toggle switch next to it. The “up” position labeled “Main Out + Phones” allows the Volume knob to control both the Phones jack and the Main outs on the back of the 896. The “down” position labeled “Phones only” means that the volume knob will NOT control the Main Outs on the back. A common misunderstanding is that “phones only” will turn the main outs OFF. That is not the case. When set to “Phones only,” the Main Outs default to a full strength +4 dBu output with no attenuation from the volume knob. So the main outs will essentially be running at “full blast.” While this behavior may seem unintuitive to some it actually makes a lot of sense. If you’re using a separate control system to handle the volume of your studio monitors then ideally you’d want a direct path out of the 896, not something routed though an additional gain stage. They’ve set it up to make this easy to accomplish.

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