M8 Tracker

I thought there might be interest in a M8 tracker thread. Quite a few people around here seems to be using one.
For me it’s one of the most new fun and inspiring pieces of music equipment in years.

I hope this can be a discussion of tips and tricks and everything else about the M8 tracker.

To start here’s a great video explaining the FM synth:

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I’m glad the M8 has it’s own thread here. I’ve been considering purchasing for a while and really enjoy seeing how different people use it.

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how do you find the ergonomics? i basically learned how to make music with lsdj, but looking at the m8 i just can’t imagine how it feels holding it in my hands (so square!) and using the buttons which just seems so oddly placed. i would love to try it for myself to see how it feels.

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For me the ergonomics are pretty good. I can work on it for hours without any problems.
I’ve also used LSDJ and it feels different then a good old grey gameboy of course
But I think They placed the buttons very thought-full. I must say my hands are quite small so maybe that helps. And the keys feel very nice.
I think the least ergonomic part is the size of the screen. I can read it well but if your eyesight is sub optimal it might be too small.

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I think the ergonomics are incredible. The user interface of the hardware and software are so well balanced and interconnected that it’s extremely quick and natural to use. The hardware is beautiful in person.

I have average male hands and it is comfortable for as long as I have used it. I have poor sight so the ability to customise the display colours is very helpful. You can also mirror the screen on a computer monitor if need be.

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i mostly make music on modular & octatrack+controller, so i’m used to a lot of hands-on controls. in this way i can’t say i’ve totally gelled with my m8. in fact, i’m thinking of letting it go. is anyone else in this situation, and do you have any advice for me?

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Definitely a different paradigm than a knob per function setup but such a quick interface to navigate and get things moving. The way I got things to gel was to just ignore the modular for a couple weeks and dive in. Watched a few YouTube backups of the discord meetups too, there are some cool features that I had a hard time wrapping my head around just looking at the documentation. The key combos for cut, copy, paste, and duplicate are key.

The phrase duplication has been key for me. Hey a groove going, duplicate it, and make subtle changes to evolve the pattern.

The live mode is great if you leave spaces (empty rows between patterns) and you can cue up quantized pattern changes. This works better for my brain than trying to write complete pieces with the timings all mapped out and rendering a finished project.

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It looks amazing but I did not have the funds for one so I went the DIY route using a Teensy, my PC and an Xbox controller. Having never used this style tracker it takes a little getting used to but there are several really good tutorial videos that helped a ton.

The link for the DIY option is here:

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The M8 is great for trains, planes, and laying in bed. It took a while to wrap my head around it but I think it’s pretty fun, however (for me) it’s far from being jammable, so I don’t think I will be using it live or that it will become the main sequencer for my modular setup (grid and ansible is still my fav).
It sounds great though, the sample mangling is very fun, and it’s not too hard to set up with the cv.ocd to sequence the modular.
It sort of ruins the ergonomics but hooking up a midi controller for note entry does make the workflow a lot faster for me.

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A few helpful resources:

Discord Meetup videos, with topics/timestamps listed

M8 Themer

Tips, Tricks, and Findings google doc

Youtube M8s to subscribe to:
avrilcadabra
soffter
allmyfriendsaresynths

(The M8 Discord is also fantastic and pretty active, highly rec’d.)

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There is a new Beta firmware that includes a Scale function. That brings this device to another level for me!

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Here’s a rundown of the beta features via livestream format: M8 Tracker 2.5.0 Beta Features Walkthrough - Discord livestream - YouTube

Timestamps in the description for those that just want to skim!

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I can not wait for this thing to be available again. Really hoping I can get one of the January ones.

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Using LSDJ since 2005 and on all kinds of game boys (mainly advance sp for display reasons).
M8 allows better flexibility. It is very well usable holding it like a game boy, but I also often have it laying on my desk like a num pad or hold it in one hand while typing with the other. Like a smartphone or pocket calculator.
The weight and size are great too, thanks to the flexibility mentioned above, you can shift positions to fight fatigue, on prolonged sessions.
It is an amazing design. If you like the flow of LSDJ you will feel right at home.

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@Shiftr @tekknovator thanks for your replies! sounds hopeful. it’s such a neat little tracker, all the features one could dream of really. will have to try it out one day for sure.

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Unfortunately I haven’t managed to get an M8 yet, but so far I’m quite happy with the headless version that runs on a RPi.

One of the many great features of the M8 is for example: You can trigger whole song rows (comparable to the scenes in Live) with MIDI Notes. Lately I start the song rows of the M8 with the help of Ableton MIDI clips and my Push2 controller. The M8 integrates perfectly into many different equipment scenarios.

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These are like the coolest things out there. Lots of great music being made on them.

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question…how do you pull up the screen that displays all of the audio wave animations?
:stuck_out_tongue:

Press all four D-Keys at the same time. Only works on the hardware M8’s screen, not on headless or remote display.

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I wanted to try the slices from the M8 sampler. I began slicing a drum loop that I don’t know from where it came really, but I had it in the M8 memory card…And from that I build the rest of the tracks. Working with slices is fun and you oftenly have happy accidents that create very organic and natural drum loops. It was like working with an obedient funky drummer. :grinning:
On top of that I played a countermelody and some FX with the Deluge. Over the time I have learned to love the pads to make little melodies and so on. Despite the lack of pad sensitivity, the Deluge feels and behaves like a real instrument.

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