OCTATRACK // uses / tips / tricks //


#81

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.

UPDATE
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.


#82

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


#83

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.


#84

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


#85

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


#86

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


#87

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


#88

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…


#89

Agreed. And the dark reverb is pretty underrated IMO. It’s staying around for sure.


#90

The fx are actually all pretty usable, and some I do really like. I wish the delay had some more stereo options, but I have teh CUE out for that anyway.


#91

Unfortunately I forgot to mention 2 crucial steps in my tip “how to prevent the OT from changing tempo on longer pickup recordings” from July 7. I edited the original post accordingly. Sorry for the confusion.


#92

It’s also not 100% clear how you replace the track recording buffer with the saved sample. Though I guess you can do an “assign to self” when saving.
But I wonder, isn’t it easier to just set the desired length in the recorder settings?


#93

Of course it is easier to set the desired length in the recorder settings, but this is limited to 64 Steps. If you select “max” to allow arbitrary recording length, the pickup machines might or might not change the tempo of the OT’s sequencer, depending on when you end the pickup recording.

EDIT: Beside the obvious timing glitch that comes with a tempo change, my main problem with such an uncontrollable tempo change is that pickup machines always timestretch on tempo changes. In spite of Flex & Static machines, you can’t disable timestretching on pickup machines. Now, timestretching sounds sounds like a good thing at first, but here’s the caveat in case of the Octatrack: the moment a pickup machine is timestretched (or has its pitch changed), you can no longer overdub on this pickup machine – and at least for me, being able to do overdubs in a single pickup track is crucial.

So I need to prevent tempo changes, which I can now do with the aforementioned steps,
and I also must make sure to disable any pitch changes in a pickup machine before attempting an overdub on it.

As I wrote in my original post, you can’t directly assign a sample to a pickup machine, so I proposed this workaround:
• double-tap a Flex or Static track to open the sample slot list,
• at the top of the sample slot list (= above slot 1) you see the eight recording buffers of the eight tracks,
• use the cursor up/down to select the recording buffer of the track with the pickup machine,
• press “yes” twice to open the audio file selector,
• select the empty audio file you want to assign to the pickup machine.

I hope this make sense.

With “assign to self” you mean AUDIO EDITOR > FILE > SAVE AND ASSIGN SAMPLE, right? I have not tried that yet, does it work for you?


#94

thanks a lot for the added explanation, I’ll need to try that because I didn’t know that you could assign a sample replacing the recording buffer.

Yes. I usually work with flex machines and do everything there. You can even overdub and they work better for me than loopers, since you can slice and all that. So what I usually do is that I record a temp loop then do the “assign to self” and prepare all the stuff I need to prepare (like slicing). This also let’s me have quite long loops since I can just disable timestretching (which I always disable everywhere anyway) and set the length to max and then manually exit recording on the first pass. So if there’s an overlap it just won’t get played (as long as the loop is retriggered by the sequencer)


#95

I am not quite sure I understand your method. Would you mind elaborating a bit more? I tried to use Flex machines instead of Pickups, and while I was able to overdub with them I failed to achieve lengths longer than 64 steps, as the sample needs to be re-triggered by the sequencer every 64 steps. When I tried to overdub a longer (>64 steps) sample by looping it & using a one-shot trigger, the sample simply didn’t loop when it reached its end during overdubbing.

EDIT: What I do when I want slicing on pickups is that I use one track for the pickup machine, and another track for the Flex machine. But this Flex machine track is assigned to the recording buffer of the pickup machine track (which in turn is loaded with an empty file of pre-defined length). Took me a while to figure that out, but it does the trick for me.


#96

I’m writing this from memory and haven’t used this in a while, so the details might not be totally correct.
Overdubbing with flex machines can be done in different ways. It also has some drawbacks to be honest, because sometimes the OT can get a bit crazy. For me the best method so far has been to use the CUE level of the track you are recording to to create a feedback loop (setting the internal input source to CUE). Then you assign the xfader to control the level that goes back into the recorder.

You can set a track to be 64 steps long and set the play speed (what Elektron confusingly calls “scale” to 1/4 or 1/8 IIRC). If you set it to the max the sample will retrigger every 64*8 steps = 512steps, then you can record to that recording buffer (I usually do that with a one-shot recording trigger) and manually stop the recording shortly after the OT has played all the steps. This way your sample will be a bit longer, but since you are retriggering it anyway that doesn’t matter (it might mess up the timestretching though, so it’s best to turn it off)

Yes I do that as well sometimes. It has it’s pros. Sometimes you want the quick&easiness of the pickupmachine and combine it with the power of flex machines. The above technique does only need one track though… and the OT already only has 8 of them.


#97

With 512 steps being the limit, this gives 1 min and 17 sec at 100 bpm, which is sometimes not enough for what I need. One of my pickups is loaded with a 1024 step (2 min 34 sec @100bpm) or even a 2048 step long sample (5 min 8 sec @100bpm) that I can overdub on.

True, the track count (and the memory) of the OT is limited. I learned to live with it (what other choice do I have anyway?), and as I use such excessive loop times, I can typically only use 3 pickup machines (one for long, one for medium, and one for short loops) before running out of memory, so each of the 3 pickups has its own corresponding Flex machine, one track is a Thru machine, and that leaves track 8 as the master.

I guess this is pretty nerdy OT stuff, isn’t it?

I really love this thing, despite all its shortcomings. Couldn’t do without it.


#98

For me the best method so far has been to use the CUE level of the track you are recording to to create a feedback loop (setting the internal input source to CUE). Then you assign the xfader to control the level that goes back into the recorder.

Are you using a midi loopback to assign the xfader to the cue volume? I haven’t tried it, but that’s the only way I’ve heard someone do it.

Another way to do Flex overdubbing is to record from AB or CD and set src3 as the track itself, but this way you can’t use the OT fxs nor have control over the gain of the existing loop. I usually use the CUE method together with a Pickup to have 2 overdubbing loopers that can be recording at the same time.

Yes I do that as well sometimes. It has it’s pros. Sometimes you want the quick&easiness of the pickupmachine and combine it with the power of flex machines. The above technique does only need one track though… and the OT already only has 8 of them.

I find I mostly end up using 2 machines anyway, since I generally want to be able to transition between the “smooth” playback of the loop and the sliced version, but if you only need the sliced or smooth version only one Flex will do nicely.


#99

haha yeah! :smiley:

Oh yeah! Totally agree!

oh no wait, now I remember how I did this the last time, which was what worked best:
CUE is set to max on the track you want to overdub on. SRC3 is set to CUE, then you set up the xfader to change XVOL (not XLVL, that won’t work) of the overdubbing track from zero to full, since in the signal flow the VOL control is before MAIN/CUE this let’s you control the overdub feedback with the xfader.


#100

Apparently conditional trigs are on the way with both v1 and v2 :slight_smile:

Very excited about this news!