OCTATRACK // uses / tips / tricks //


I mean how hard can it be to make a mod for these things and then loom a pedal board of 8 of them to a eurorack patchpoint diy thing? it’d be a dream


Noooo! Why didn’t anybody ever say that to me? Need to try that now!!!


Can you manually create slices in the software, if you can I’m in? I find it really tedious on the hardware.

Recording fader movements is the only way I use the OT, it’s great used that way. I have it all mapped to a couple of faderfox units, highly recommended


Take a look at this as well: https://www.elektronauts.com/files/375
It let’s you create chains of samples that are being loaded by the OT as sliced samples. Very handy, doesn’t replace OctaEdit, but is nice if all you want to do is drop in some samples into a chain.


Octachainer is really useful. Ableton is good too just using the arrange window.


Yep but Octachainer also creates the needed OT files.


If you set them out at equal distances in the arrange window then just create a slice grid without zero crossing it’s fine. That said I do think Octachainer is way easier, just thought it may be useful too being in Ableton


No, that’s just it! Just got a used MK1 for live work, so there’s lots of prep, breaking down and reassembling loops, stems, etc.

I’m finding the Octatrack workflow great in some ways but extremely poorly designed in others, wouldn’t mind doing the grunt work out of the box.


Having had this thing for a couple of years now, it has settled into a couple areas of responsibility in my workspace.

  • It is currently the main midi sequencer. It generates my master clock (optionally gets it’s clock from Logic) and feeds a midi interface which connects all my other instruments.

  • 1 role is a as a live looping sampler. Its A & B channels get fed audio from sends 1/2 on my main mixer. This is my “clean” channel. C & D channels get the mixer’s sends 3/4 which are routed through Analog Heat and other effects. I can control which instruments get fed to the OT for recording by adjusting the send amount on each channel strip on the Mackie.

  • On the OT, track 1 is my thru (recording A & B), track 2 is a neighbor. Same arrangement for tracks 5 & 6 but these are recording C & D. This gives me 4 OT effects slots each on In A & B and In C & D. I use a single shot record trig when I want to capture the audio coming in and loop it.

  • I use track 8 as a master, so I can apply effects to everything with the crossfader. I mostly use EQ and filter effects here.

  • My remaining 3 free track on the OT are usually reserved for Static Machines. I usually use these for playing previously recorded ambient passages and atmosphere type stuff. These can be real long or not, can loop at weird intervals or just be free running. It can get really interactive tho with some automated and gradual changes to filters and EQ as dictated by LFOs.

  • My Cue output usually gets routed to one of the inputs on a synth or the modular for additional manipulation or effects. Each track on the OT can have its own Cue out settings.

  • All of this can get really interested with some clever programming of the crossfader. Super powerful when you start thinking about adjusting volume levels, sends and EQ settings as opposed to just making wild adjustments to effects parameters.

The OT is a very important machine in my set up but I can see how it can be daunting and even discouraging when you approach it like it were any other sampler. I just don’t think it was designed that way. Should be thought of as a totally different use case from that of an MPC or Digitakt or EXS24 or Kontakt. Some overlap, sure, but in my mind sampling performance mixer is a more apt description than just sampler or sampling workstation. Even if you never hit play.


@marcus_fischer would you, at this time, recommend the octa for use as a live looper (your original use case)? I ask you directly because your use case and mine are in alignment: my work is centered by use of 4+ async overdubbing loopers with long loops. In the past I’ve done this with mixers and pedals and software that I’ve developed. Always looking for a better, more fluid, solution I am intrigued by the Octa. I don’t have any eurorack at this time so I’ve been reluctant to go to the ER-301. Perhaps this is a mistake.

I’m trying one out and find the time stretching on the pickup machines to be unusable for my material, which is very clean. The workarounds seem similarly compromised and leaves me thinking that this solution is not for me. What is your (and everyone’s) opinion here? I have a couple weeks still where I can return the octa and at this time I’m thinking that is what I need to do (because of the timestretching issues.)


Pickup machines automatically sync to some degree and if you set record trigs to make loops looser it’s still going to occur at some sort of grid unless you’re manually recording and stopping (which is often what I do).

You might check out MAX and the Karma object by our very own Rodrigo :slight_smile: https://cycling74.com/tools/karma-samplerlooper-external


I’ve built a system of loopers with karma~ and love it very much! It is great.

I do manually start and stop looping – what I can’t abide is the master/slave pickup machine situation with the BPM detection that causes time stretching. It’s the sound of the stretching that I rankle against.


Yeah, well, Flex machines and setting up record trigs and loop lengths is the best approach if you don’t dig the Pickup machine option. But you can manually start and stop Flex machines too for a bit looser of an approach. That’s sort of how I use it like a little tape machine…

Can’t you turn off the time stretching option too in the Playback submenu?


You can turn it off for everything afaik. Avoiding Pickup machines is the way to go imho if you want things to be loose from BPM and flexible in regards to starting/stopping.


Posting here instead of creating a new thread:

Do any of you use their Octatrack with an Expert Sleepers FH-1 to control their modular? I’m thinking about doing this, although I’m not really interested in doing a whole lot of intricate sequencing on the OT. I’d mainly like to have an easy way to sync OT with the modular and send some CCs to control a few things. I’d be curious to hear people’s experiences with this setup (or alternatives)!


If all you want to do is keep things in sync and send a few CCs a simple MIDI-CV interface should be easier to use. The FH-1 does not have a DIN MIDI input, just USB afaik, and the OT does not send MIDI over USB.


Ah, forgot to mention that I’d wanna use my Faderfox UC4 to go OT > Faderfox > FH-1 (and back). The UC4 has MIDI I/O over 1/8" TRS and USB and can actually merge the two MIDI streams. Plus it would be powered from the FH-1…


Oh well in that case it could make sense!


Do you happen to have the FH-1? Curious if it’s default MIDI layout covers everything one might need (it appears so from having a quick look at the manual). Have you messed around with reprogramming it?


Hi Jonas,
I use the FH1 this way all the time. Papernoise is correct though that there is no DIN only USB but that’s never been a problem. I use the OT with an Iconnect4 so I can easily route the OT DIN based Midi through that and out to the FH1 works perfectly. I also use Maschine and Ableton with the FH1 (I have 16 outputs for everything from CC’s to pitch velocity and aftertouch) at the same time as the OT and all via the Iconnect. This can be done without the Iconnect as long as you have a DIN to USB converter and route everything with Ableton but I chose the Iconnect so I can play live with OT and Modular without a computer. Hope this helps.