Building Patterns Guide? Copy/paste set up

Hi there-
read through most of merlins guide. Haven’t seen a area dedicated to pattern building and bank specifically? Are there 2 versions to it? I’ve dug a long into sampling/recording splices. Now I want to move forward and build different patterns to upload different splices. I dont have much experience with building patterns and understanding banks. Any good guides or videos on forum here that can help me dive into that world? Understanding parts and scenes is amazing tho and grateful to incorporate that once I have more Patterns to build with musically from my recorded samples I’ve uploaded. Thanks!


Like any octatrack guide, only so much of it will be useful to any one person. After a while uou begin to appreciate how modular the OT really is, and how many ways it can be used.

However, since you asked, here is my current method for writing stuff I intend to perform live. (My methods change as I discover new things, I have other methods for different projects)

Start with pattern 1. Load desired samples and machines. Write pattern. When happy save and name part 1.
Then I write 3 more variations of pattern 1, copy pattern 1 to pattern 2, edit until happy, copy 2 to pattern 3 etc, all saved to part 1.
Save project as I go.
Then at pattern 5, I copy part 1 to part 2. Load pattern 5 as part 2. Save it. Next, change things! Doesnt matter what changes are made, just change. Then repeat as above.

In this way you quickly build an entire bank of patterns, which can be played live, recorded, whatever, simply by hitting play , and chaining the next pattern, tweak and shape sounds while its all playing. When I get to the end of the bank, I go back to the begining and add scenes. Endless fun. Revert to original state of the set by executing project reload.

So what I end up with, us a set where every part has 4 patterns in it. 4x4 =16. Repeat until you run out of banks. For context, when I play live, 2 banks equals about 1 hour 15 mins of performance time.

That’s my method. It works for me and the music I want to make. Might not work for anyone else.


I usually use one bank for each track I do.
Obviously the most convenient way with Elektron sequencers.
Loading another project takes a little time, one bank per track keeps the project tidy.
At first I had problems fitting a whole track into 16 patterns, but one could always use two banks if needed.

I don’t have any specific rules to follow other then one bank/one track and when I use thru machines, I always put them in the same tracks in the same order (so input A will always end up in a thru machine in track 5 and midi track 5 will be used to sequence the synth connected to input A, input B will always use a thru machine in track 6, sequenced by track 6, C/D will always use track 7, sequenced from midi track 7).
Kick drum is on track 1, snare on track 2, hi hats on track 3.
If I use neighbour machines, it’s usually tracks 5 and 6.
This way everything usually works nicely with my midi controller.

Then I just load some samples, put some trigs into the midi tracks, play on my keyboard controller and just go for it.
Usually I already have an idea for a whole track or something I want to try when I switch on my machines.
When I have decided for a tempo, I save part 1 with the bpm of the track. This way I don’t have to look into my project notes, I can see the tempo right away.

On my OT banks A-H are used for building tracks, I-P are for templates.
This way it fits with my other Elektrons, that only have eight banks per project.
Banks P has my go to template, so all tracks have machines assigned and parameters set in a way that I can start right away. So I just copy the part over to the bank I want to start a new track.
Midi tracks are also set up for my synths.

Other banks have a drummachine template, single cycle waveform template, thru machines and sampling template and things like that.

I try to avoid copy/pasting whole patterns, usually after three or four patterns I’ll just copy/paste the page or several pages if needed. This forces me to make conscious desicions in my tracks.


Thank You Microtribe.
Im confused tho how to copy paste patterns. I hold pattern while hitting Copy and then Paste on 2 while holding pattern nothing changes over. HMMM.
Seem easy for everyone the little things but wish I could find the little things somewhere. Maybe need to keep exploring manual again.

Make sure grid record mode is off. (Red light off) press Function+copy. Select next empty pattern. Press Function+paste.


1 Like

Oh damn makes perfect sense.
Thank you!

If red light is on (grid record mode on) then pressing function+copy copies the active track.

Its all in the manual. I commited most if it to muscle memory a few years ago so no idea what page its on without looking.

Thank you so much! this helped solve some other confusions too