OCTATRACK // uses / tips / tricks //


The OT is the shark of ‘performance samplers’. It’s fully evolved, impossible to improve on.

I’m available for copywriting if anyone here is from Elektron and they want some clever lines to toss out in the upcoming series of OT related press conferences and White House briefings.


Please tell me they still didn’t change the red/green leds for mute and active, so I don’t have to buy one (again). #colourblind


kinda glad it’s the same OS. my worry would be they would stop supporting mk1 OS and all the new dev would be done in the new version, which hopefully shouldn’t be the case.


On first blush, I wasn’t very impressed or at all interested. Same beast, different clothes.

But after coming back to it a bit later in the day, I think that the extra buttons actually might be worth the hassle to upgrade. Exposing some of the deeper functionality from beneath several layers of menu diving and multi-trig setup (hi pickup machines :wave:) is a really nice touch, and keeps the mk2 familiar and intuitive to current users, yet perhaps even quicker to use. The real question is the change of muscle memory. (Also how those new buttons will work with rumblings of an OS update…)

No way to know for sure till it shows up in shops and we can get our paws on it. For now, mk1 is still amazing.


The one thing I’m really glad about with this MK2 release is that a) the OT isn’t deal, which by itself is already great news and b) there is a faint chance (albeit very faint) that given this updated release they might finally squash some of the really annoying bugs that still plague what is the best (and probably) performance sampler around. Though they might do the nasty thing of making the update available only for the MK2… with the bad excuse that it would not work due to the new buttons, which would earn them my eternal disappointment. But I’m thinking positive :slight_smile:


Continuing the discussion from the Performing Modular Live thread

What you can do is the following: you slice the sample in say 16 slices. then create 16 trigs and have each play one slice (going linearly from 1 to 16, which you can do from the slicing menu using the “create linear locks” command).
Then you set up a random LFO and assign it to modulate the start parameter. Assign the LFO amount to a scene and off you go!

That’s what I currently do, but when LFO amount is set to 0 you get a click at the start of each slice, right?

I haven’t found a way to get rid of this and my current solution is to use one machine for smooth playback, one for sliced and use the crossfader to move between them. It works but takes 2 machines which is somewhat annoying.


Setting the fade in time doesn’t help?


It helps for the first slice, but it doesn’t help with the rest.
This is what I’m talking about.


Recorded a 32 step loop with the modular using a flex machine and had another flex machine pointed at that buffer already sliced with linear trigs. No modulations and I just crossfade between the two.

From what I’ve read around it seems to be unavoidable (for live use at least), just curious if anyone is using a workaround that’s not lowpass filtering it until it’s workable.


If the material is very homgeneus (is that spelled right?) you get small “ducking” effects when using fades/envelopes. Since the OT is monophonic it can’t crossfade

but @qype are you slicing with or without zero cross detection? I found not using zero cross detection to work better for such cases. theoretically if all slices’ start- and endpoints are on the exact same sample you won’t get clicks. Of course you’ll get clicks when randomizing, but you can remove them with a bit of an envelope (which can be controlled via scene)

but I should mention that I like to make the OT click so maybe I’m the wrong person to give advice here :slight_smile:


I mostly don’t use zero crossing, but tried it just now on the sample from the example above and didn’t notice a big difference to be honest.

It seems to me that theoretically the click shouldn’t be there for the reason you mention, but the consensus over at elektronauts is that there’s no easy way to avoid it in live use I believe. Just wanted to see how everyone else was dealing with it.

Clicking when randomizing is not a problem, I use it as part of the sound, but clicking when using continuous slices makes me “waste” a track or low pass the clicks (which doesn’t work well on a lot of material). Oh well, can’t have it all, right? :slight_smile:


I also struggle with these points, but was able to overcome the auto BPM feature by preloading the recording buffers of the Pickup machines with empty audio files of pre-defined lengths. Avoids unwanted tempo changes for me.


What I do is set up the recording buffer at a defined length (eg. 64) instead of MAX, so it does not change the BPMs. but more often than not 64 steps aren’t enough, so I’ll try your trick! How exactly are doing it?

@qype regarding clicks, I need to test that again. had done some tests with sine waves in the past… but that was a long time ago


I know, if one can work with a maximum of 64 steps, then all is fine. But I want longer buffers like two and a half minutes. So…

(1) decide for a tempo,
(2) decide for the loop lengths you want,
(3) calculate the number of steps that equal the loop lengths you want,
(4) do empty recordings inside the OT at the tempo you want and abort these recordings after the calculated number of steps,
(5) store and name these recordings accordingly to CF card
(6) load the recordings you want into the recording buffers of the pickup machines

Step 6 is the tricky one: Normally you can double tap a track button to see the according sample slot list, and the 8 recording buffers on top of the sample slot list (in case it is a Flex machine track). But double tapping the track button of a pickup machine track only gives you the menu to chose a different machine for this track.

So you have to double tap a track with a Flex machine on it to get to the sample slot list with the recording buffers. Now use the cursor up/down to select the recording buffer with the number of the pickup machine track you want. Then press “yes” twice, which will open the audio file selector, select the empty audio file you named & saved in step (5) and enjoy.

I just noticed that I forgot to mention the final steps, which are crucial:
(7) Press Play on the OT Sequencer.
(8) Press Play on each of the Pickup machines in which you loaded the empty recording.

Without these final two steps it does not work!
Sorry that I forgot this.


New Mk 1 for $800 shipped: https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/858268-REG/Elektron_OCTATRACK_DPS_1_Octatrack_Dynamic_Performance_Sampler.html


Now I hate Elektron. Mine cost me almost €1300 (about $1400) just a few months ago.
But there’s one good thing about it: if one day I need to sell it I’ll only get a small fraction of what I originally paid, which means that I’ll be more motivated to just keep it and really learn all its ins and outs.


Also, i feel like chances of a software update are a bit higher now :+1: So maybe it got more usefull too.


Even lower: http://www.musiciansfriend.com/keyboards-midi/elektron-octatrack-dps1-sampler
Use HEADLINER for 15% off. About $764 shipped in most states.


Seconded! Ugh. Well, it’s here to stay anyway. Watch it become a classic and the values skyrocket.


Oh yes, that is highly likely.
Oh and btw. nobody mentioned that the filters on the MK1 sound sound a lot warmer, :smiley:


Still love my Octatrack :slight_smile: Trying to figure out if it’s too much to integrate with the MAX+modular setup, but it’s so great even if I just use it as an effects hub and possible quadrophonic mixer. Endless tinkering…