Abusing a Track for Live Input (From Merlins Guide)

Thanks for your advice.

I just couldn’t find a benefit from doing it that way but found delays happening when starting the sequencer slaved to Ableton. Not every time but sometimes.

So switched back.

Hello everyone,

I am able to get this to work when I start a new project and set it up on Track 1. I have assigned Recorder 1 to Flex on Track 1.

However, on my existing project I was never able to get it to work. The problem is that it is always 16 bars delayed, meaning I can’t hear the live input. It seems similar to the bug mentioned earlier by d2ba. Or perhaps it was related to using a Thru machine on one of the other tracks for the same inputs?

Does anyone know what might cause the Flex machine to NOT be able to play back/read the recorder buffer at the same time as it is being written to?

If you can’t hear the live input then just shift the playback trig by single microstep so it starts a tick later than the recording.

… and make sure you don’t pitch up the playback, because then it would run out of data, too.


OK, perfect, it’s working now. The micro-timing trick worked… I had tried that already earlier, but I think I did it in the wrong direction or by not enough.

Thanks tnussb.

What is the disadvantages of just using a Pickup machine vs using the Flex machine in this manner? Isn’t a Pickup machine nothing more than just exactly equal to this, aka, a Flex machine assigned with it it’s own track recorder buffer?

1 Like

I am struggling to set this up. Can you let us know the exact config for this “LFO on start” trick please?

Got a question for the live inputs.

If I set up a trig to record the live input and it keeps recording the live loop. Will it get continuously stored in the memory …this taking up heaps of storage room eventually or does it get put in the bin and disregarded for every loop?

Recordings are overwritten. No auto save so it will take some RAM space, that’s all.

1 Like

Per the Merlin Guide, Flex Machine tracks only use RAM, which on the OT is 80MB.

sezare is probably right - when you max out the RAM, the OT will just start overwriting stuff.

The Static Machine is what streams off the CF card, but it doesn’t have all the features of Flex. also explained in Merlin’s Guide

I’d like to wine and dine you sometime

1 Like

So every time a loop is recorded it is logged and stored?

Wait, so recordings are overwritten. What’s this about RAM space?

Overwritten means they were there on recording but gone once overwritten? That means a loop is stored and depending on how long the loop is. I’m ok with that, never use much more than the standard 128 steps anyway.

It’s saved in RAM. I highly recommend reading the guide.

I’d say recorded in the buffer, overwritten if you leave a rec trig. You have to save your recording on the CF card if you want to keep it.

Must’ve missed something or was too excited to intake past what I needed in the moment… something I’m very guilty of. Lol

Don’t want to keep nothing. I want my second OT to be a portable live looper/recorder/remixer and not have to worry if space is being taken up.

Overwriting will happen each time when you start recording with the same record buffer regardless if RAM gets maxed out.

So if you have a record trig on trig 1 of a pattern it will start to overwrite the buffer each time this trig gets hit.


That’s what I wanted to read. Thank you so much! Thank you to everybody else who chummed in also. My explanations sometimes make sense in my head and in my head only! Hehehe

So, @tnussb, I can take my Octatrack and plug in the stereo outs of my mixer to it. Set up a live trig recorder, live record the loop and it will just keep overwriting each loop? COOLIO!!!

You’re right about that.

That’s what I get for trying to explain stuff that the Merlin doc already explains more effectively

It seems like instead of abusing the recorder/flex machine like this, the “proper” way to do this (which doesn’t require micro-timing tricks), is to do the following:

  1. Setup flex machine with trig recorder to record in Track 1 buffer
  2. Setup 2nd part which has a flex machine with the same Track 1 buffer set as the Flex Sample
  3. Arm track 1 in Part 1.
  4. Record the 1 bar.
  5. Switch to Part 2 where it will start playing back.

Using the micro-timing trick for me has been inconsistent if whether I can hear the live input or not. Sometimes it works, sometimes it just plays silence until after the recording has finished.

No, that’s not the “proper” way, because the discussion was about recording and playing back at the same time (live audio). That’s where the microtiming trick is required depending on which source (internal or external) you record from.