Advice on gear setup

hey yall,

I’m wondering how differently somebody else might set up or use this gear. Interested in other ideas i guess if you’re bored and you’re imaginative.

Setup: octatrack mk2 is my main mixer, master tempo, master effects, before going into UA apollo and then to abelton which I’m very new to. I run a digitakt for drums into OT1+2, and analog four into OT3+4 with novation ultranova as midi keyboard. side question: should i get a different midi keyboard? also, does this setup necessarily mean I can’t chain midi from OT thru DT thru to analog 4? because I have to use midi for keyboard. does this make sense?
OT runs digitakt as thru machine with two effects, and runs A4 as a thru machine with a neighbor track below to get two more effects slots.
microphone I do using digitakt even though OT would do a much better job i presume. i sample using DT but then sample it on the OT where it’s used as a flex track. tracks 5,6,7 are flex tracks i can record live into or play back samples, track 8 is master where i run an EQ which turns the high end WAY the F up because seems like everything has way too much low end muddy mids all the time when i play on other speakers. i also run a reverb.
compression at the end with UA software

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Sounds like you’re on the right track. Are you having issues or something?

regarding the midi keyboard: are you a decent keyboard player? if you aren’t going be comping live I would say no need to upgrade your midi keyboard. in fact…

maybe don’t use a midi keyboard at all! try the midi capabilities of the octatrack. it’s a wonderfully powerful sequencer

assuming your Ultranova is being used to play the A4 then you’ll need a midi merger box. your OT is master clock and you’ll need that being run to the other two boxes’ midi in. so the setup would be: OT midi out -> DT midi in -> DT midi thru -> midi merger box midi in -> midi merger box midi out -> A4 midi in. you also want Ultranova midi out -> midi merger box midi in.

yes perfect. thanks for this. any recommendations of this sort of box? i figured there must be some solution.

RE-mpiecora, I’m just wondering if I’m making any glaring errors, or maybe not taking advantage of some benefit

RE spssky, I’m an OK keyboard player… i have been dawless for 2 years and am just getting into abelton as a final destination to record… still using elektron sequencers for the most part. was thinking of running some spitfire audio pianos through abelton on another midi keyboard so I can just have the ultranova permanently hooked to A4 (and Korg arp odyssey on occasion)

I’ve actually never had to use one so can’t say first-hand. the Kenton boxes are always solid, but they’re more pricey. I’ve got some Midi Solutions thru boxes that have been great, and they’re cheaper, so I can recommend that brand.

another solution would be if you have midi I/O to your computer, you can use software to merge the midi. for example, Midi Patchbay on Mac will do it. if you want a computer-less setup, obviously you don’t want that. but it could tide you over until you get a merger box.

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You should be able to plug the midi controller into the octatrack midi in… You just need to set up 4 of your octatrack midi channels to the ones you are using for your other gear. Once you do that it should pass through the midi out :slight_smile:


^^^ solid hack! didn’t even think of that! :rofl:

yeah you’ll need to select the corresponding midi channel on your OT then when you’re playing the A4. but otherwise a great trick! :+1:

hmmm ok Beamer I’m rather new to midi so let me see if I understand:

OT is master. midi out to digitakt, thru to analog 4 while ultanova midi goes out to the IN of the OT… then setting midi channels on ultranova and OT to same channels so I’m controlling the A4 through the OT basically?

That seems correct.

You have to set them in midi tracks mode (NOTE/SRC Setup), but they have to be different from audio tracks channels otherwise you can’t receive midi data (audio tracks channels are set in MIDI > CHANNELS, 1-8 by default).

So, different channels, or disable audio tracks channels (off).

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Yep, you got it. Also, what @sezare56 said :+1:

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Logic check: this doesn’t matter if I’m not receiving any MIDI into the OT? Or, best practise to disable all the audio tracks MIDI channels anyway?

Hi sezare!! So craziness and all I’m just getting to this.

I followed your instructions and changed only the order I chained the DT and A4. Did midi out of OTmk2 into A4 then thru A4 to in of DT. Latter two set to receive clock and transport, OT to send both. Also connected my ultranova (used as midi keyboard) to OT midi in and set channels to correspond to a4

Took a bit to find the second page of the SRC/note to set the midi channel but sitting messing around eventually go me there :rofl:

Now, I’m used to using thru machines and having access to the OT’s SRC page and LFO s and effects and everything but it seems I’m only getting sound with midi button pushed and the channel set which means I can’t access those options. This seems strange!!

So I have sounds!!!

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I’m hijacking this thread for my own question.

What I currently have: A4, rev2, OT
What I’m planning to get: microFreak, behringer cat, nord drum 3p.

Nord drum 3p is stereo and has its own effects, so I would directly route this to the two OT inputs. Rev2 only has one effect layer so it makes sense to route it through the A4 and the A4 then also takes two inputs from the OT. But, then I’m missing 2 mono inputs for the two other synths. I’m not sure I’d want to buy a mixer just for two additional inputs. Any advice?

Do your speakers a favour and use the eq to lower the bass/ mids instead of boosting. This will give you a clearer signal because you’re not boosting any harsh frequencies that live up there.
Other than that I too think you’re on a great path, you’re making very good use of the gear.

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i appreciate this !! i usually only boost!