OCTATRACK // uses / tips / tricks //


Thanks man, great review


Does anybody here has tried to control the Octatrack with Line6 POD HD500x? I have a couple of questions about the interaction between the two.



recently my 404 kicked it and i’ve been wondering if the octatrack might make a good replacement for both the 404 and the ansible/grid I’ve been dreaming of for a few months now.

the work flow (pre-404 death) was to sequence out each ‘part’ of a song on the modular, record it into the 404, then chop, arrange, and layer on the 404.

the work flow i’m imagining would be octa midi converted to cv, into the modular for sequencing, then recording the output back into the octatrack, and arranging there. from what i’ve seen in this thread and elsewhere the octatrack can definitely output a sequence and record the results of that sequence, but how much am i losing, in terms of sequencing ability, by not just running kria? (metasequencing seems like one sacrifice, but i’m sure there are others i’m missing)

thanks in advance for any feedback.


That would definitely work :slight_smile: you could even do it all ‘live’ on the OT. This is how I would set it up:

  • Run midi from the OT to your modular doing what it does and have the output go through the OT.
  • Set the record settings for quantised recording on each track and hit record on a track when you want to record a part.
  • Have 1 or more of your track playback or mangle your recording without stopping your modular :slight_smile:


This will work great on the Octatrack. Once you learn the setup specifics I have a feeling you might like the OT even better.

The OT is an impressive MIDI sequencer. And once you explore setting the tracks to run at different rates and/or step lengths, you get into a much similar territory as Kria - although I believe Kria tackles this a bit more elegantly. Similar, but still different.

Overall, what you’re looking to do is specifically where the OT really shines, imo. There’s definitely a learning curve with what settings do what, where they are, etc, so be patient - it will definitely pay off.


big thanks to @jamescigler , @duckpow , and @papernoise for confirming that this is indeed where the octa may shine. gonna move forward w it and can my half decade of experience on the roland for the sake of increased power / workflow / audio quality (and slight savings over the 404 + grid combo).

wondering then about ideal midi to cv conversion working with a three-voice rack. maybe this is better suited to the ‘new to euro’ thread but figured i’d ask here since the ot is so much its own beast and compatibility issues on this particular front seem exceedingly common (which is part of why, at first, i was dedicated to staying out of the issue altogether).


I was considering (and still am) the Hexinverter Mutant Brain to go from Octatrack to modular.

Ultimately my goals shifted somewhat and I’m making “generative” techno now, but Mutant Brain will be my selection when I return to making “composed” music.


I don’t have an OT but have come across the Dubldeca which is designed for exactly what you’re talking about!


Mutable Yarns and Hexinverter MIDI2CV are also popular choices. I’m planning to list my MIDI2CV soon if you’d be interested. I used it as a 4 voice connection to Octatrack but never got along well with super tedious MIDI programming so use the OT in different ways anymore. The in between was to use it as 4 clock sources, which allowed me to not worry so much about programming and still allow the MIDI2CV to be useful.


I’m very happy with the Vermona QMI + Octatrack


Howdy - anyone found a way to use more midi scales in the midi arp than major/minor/modal rotation?

Pentatonics/wholetone or custom scale masking, that sort of thing.

Octatrack is the primary midi sequencer in my setup and this would be huge - have been scratching my head for some time and assume it’s impossible but if anyone’s figured it out they’d be here!


Do you mean different versions of “KEY” in the Arp Setup window? No, there’s just the ones that are there.

But if you don’t use Key (“OFF”), then you can program the exact note offsets that you want, essentially designing the scale.


I do mean key, yeah.

That’s true, but the ‘sequencing a sequencer’ aspect of the midi mode will transpose those offsets parallel rather than harmonically, which is what I’m interested in.

Cheers though!


Been having a ton of fun with the ot over the past few days but have struggled to create more subtle drum textures with it. Filter to lo fi has been the easiest way to create punch but it also results in noisier sounds over all.

Any effects chains y’all have found useful for drier kicks / snares?


I’m not sure what you mean by “drier” in this context, but I like to create pitched drum sounds by turning up the filter Q (not too high or it gets kinda nasty) and playing with the base and width params, and then running that into one of the reverbs. Comb filter into a low pass filter (to tame some of the high frequencies of the comb) can also be nice.

For “punch” I would generally go for the compressor, or just make sure my samples are punchy before they get imported into the OT.

Subtle use of the Spatializer can be nice on high frequency percussion (shakers, hi-hats, etc).

In general I don’t think the OT FX are very high quality, but you can come up with interesting sounds if you look for the sweet spots.

I’m also a big fan of taking a percussion sound with a longer release (like an open hi hat) and modulating the release and hold time (either through parameter locks or knob recording) so it morphs between short stuttery sounds and longer decays.


So I have a Pelican 1500 for my Octatrack but am wondering if anyone uses a 1470. Significantly slimmer. If I go to Iceland I’ll likely try to do a solo Octatrack set (assuming a show even works out) and figured flying with a 1470 would be a lot more convenient. Thoughts?


Hi all,

I have two weeks off at Christmas and I’d like to get back to sampling my modular. Since I unboxed my Octatrack I’ve gotten completely distracted and need a stretch of time without 9-to-5 work in order to make progress.

  • OT MkII’s inputs are now “high headroom” but does anyone have any experience running modular level signal directly into it? (Obviously with REC GAIN down.)
  • I am a bit confused because OT always samples in stereo, if I am running a single modular synth voice into one OT input how do I “force” mono? (I have tried researching this with no luck.)

  1. it works but there’s a good deal of fiddling to be done at your vca, the gain in, and the master volume on OT.
  2. you can run a through machine that only monitors one input or the other and use the rec 3 button on a pickup machine to record to a separate track in OT. also if you go to func + rec set up you can change the recorders for a track to mono (either A + B, A, or B, rather than A B).

hope this helps!


Hi that’s great thank you. It wasn’t immediately obvious if FUNC + REC A or B was making the signal mono or taking the hard left or hard right half of a stereo pair.

I think I’ll get a passive DI with a pad switch to sit between the modular and the Octatrack.


FUNC + REC A has a totally different function than FUNC + REC B, so don’t look at them as being mono v stereo. You set that, as @yams said, in the input part of the menu of FUNC + REC A if I recall.

As for levels, yeah, it takes a bit of time, but I’ve been pretty happy running my modular into the OT with a matrix mixer as the go-between. Just takes a bit of time dialing in the right levels at all the different stages. Worth the effort though.