Can you recommend the OT to a total newbie?

I agree OT is a better choice than DT for this, I will say I personally find it a pain in the ass to make whole tracks on the OT.

I’d take a look at some other boxes like the Deluge or 1010music Blackbox as well, see what people think of them vs the OT.

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Why not skip it if it hurts you’r eyes to much ? Choosing between the two is of course different for different people depending on their experience and what they hope to achieve.

To OP:

If you can swing the OT and are devoted to learn it, then go for it! The DT is faster and easier to wrap your head around, but if one are are entertained by learning new stuff it could also be very rewarding.


I have spend hours upon hours researching. I did not find any threads for my specific use case. Either people connect tons of devices in the Octa and/or have prior knowledge. I want to use it as a standalone music creation tool.

On topic: I understand the DT is way easier but isn’t it very limiting compared to the OT looking at sound design? From what i have seen in videos the sample mangling capabilities of the DT seem cool. There is waaaay to much info on OT to have seen a good comparisation on this front.

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Because part of the guidelines of the board is to keep things tidy and search for already existing threads. There are already discussions on this board with this exact use case that can easily be read for information.


I can’t comment on the deluge and i never owned the OT. But i do have the DT and the BlackBox and while they are similar, the workflow is very different. I like both a lot, and the BlackBox is really fun and immediate, one can just start playing around with provided projects and samples, no manual reading needed to get started tbh.

The DT workflow filters, fx and P-locks opens up so much, and in terms of shaping the sound the DT is far more powerful from my short experience.

A good combination could in fact be the BB and the DT, feeding the DT into the BB, sampling is better on the BB and it has song mode etc.

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Sorry if I don’t see why your post is so special compared to (for example):

or any of the other Digitakt vs. Octatrack topics:

Of course the Digitakt is (very) limited compared to the OT.

  • 1 LFO vs. 3 LFOs
  • mono vs. stereo
  • OT: much more effects
  • OT: dynamic (re-)sampling
  • OT: crossfader and scenes
  • OT: song mode (aka Arranger)
  • OT: more inputs and outputs
  • … and so on …

And if you want a detailed comparison then examine the manuals from the elektron support page side by side.


I did point out I was a complete beginner. I have seen the spec sheets. And I have tried my hardest to figure out how this all effects my possibilbies with the machine as a songwriter. I was hoping to get a descriptive answer without techspecs.

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Ot can do that, and you can record perfect loops with it, mangle recordings with the sequencer while recording / playing. Super powerfull looper with frustrating limitations compared to other loopers. You can make any recording digital drums, synth, noise…

Personal : huge possibilities, that’s the main problem. It takes time to learn it well, and you have to make some choices. OT is the only gear I’d keep with my Hx Stomp for guitar and Perform Ve for vocals. You can make complex multitrack recordings, whole songs with it.
I have a Zoom H4, but I record directly in OT most of the time.

Buy it, try it, hate it, love it, hate it, keep it or sell it…

@sshiftyp and yes, I agree with @tnussb, even if DT is really capable, I think it’s very limited compared to OT for complex song structures.
You can play really long files for compact flash card (2GB, around 3h30m), and max recording is 8m28s with free RAM, vs 30s or something for DT.


Hi and welcome.
Typically this forum is quite a friendly and welcoming place so don’t be put off by people not seeming eager to engage. I often don’t bother searching as I enjoy the interaction with others.


I think the Octatrack is a great device to develop with and lose yourself in.

I’ve had one, or sometimes two over the last 4 years. I had s Digitakt but grew bored quickly with it.

If you’re determined, interested and patient the device will reward you greatly.

Perhaps have a look on YouTube for demonstrations of its potential in the flesh as it were. Anything you see being performed on the MK1 is possible on MK2 and vice versa.

Best of luck.


I have gone from no Elektron devices to two in 6 weeks. I have an MC and a DT. I’ve spent time with both, and come from a piano/guitar background. Like you I wanted to broaden my music to include beats and drones etc.

What I’ve actually done is lose myself in the Electrons and not played guitar much at all. I’ve not used an OT so can’t comment, but for me ‘playing’ the DT is most musical and fun, and I would suggest for my limited experience would require me to work hard to programme it right to be able to use it to back my guitar.

Please note my inexperience. I thought I’d share a couple of thoughts, at the very least they may help you make your choice. I’m having great fun with mine, and learning a new tranche of music as a result.

I hope you keep getting the kind help on here that I have received.

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If you’re absolutely serious about being fine with learning it, go for the OT.


Something oddly romantic jumping straight into the OT. Think its the so called legendary complexity of the quirky interface - kind of like a weird challenge.


Sounds like you are considering the OT as a backing track player - to play your guitar track, your backing vocal track, etc. Check out Cuckoo’s tutorial on that specific topic and see if the workflow appeals to you. As you can see in the video, simply playing back your backing tracks is a simple process. The complexity starts when you want to start mangling audio and doing other stuff beyond merely playing back your backing audio.


No need to be sorry just skip ahead, as there been others who have gladly given their input, rather than comparing spec sheets. :grinning:


Out of curiousity. You use MC for sounddesign and DT for further manipulation and to compose your track?

Good info from everyone cheers. I have seen the Cuckoo video. I do want to sample my instruments, resample it to new horizons but still retaining a mix of the traditional and the experimental. Im do not want to play over a backing track.

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I think you should be making comparisons between the OT and Mpc One/Live.

Because the OT and Mpc can both make complete tracks but in totally different ways.

If you want full on exploration, instant sample mangling, then OT is King. The new Mpc’s have far more options and capabilities for more tradition samplists and track building, but they seriously lack the crazy sample manipulation capabilities. Or rather, you have to go about it in a much different way.


That was the intention once I decided to add the DT to the ‘simpler’ MC.

What actually has happened is they are in different rooms and I use them independently. I have linked them but, tbh right now I want to learn them each well. Both are deep to me, given my real purpose is maybe like yours, rather than to be the next electronic music DJ (which is beyond me :slight_smile:)

Whatever you choose, I would encourage you to jump in. If you decide to sell, then you will be pleasantly surprised at resale prices from what I have seen.

In my research I have seen these. But instantly rejected them as a posibility because I am trying to refrain from the pc software workflow.

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I took a good look at the BB. Thanks for the suggestion. Interesting for sure with it having song mode. But since it kinda overlaps the DT and is not very cheap I think the Octa still makes more sense as it’s one device. Forgetting the time it takes to learn the OT but it being worth it for the sound design aspect.

Ok, I didn’t have a clear understanding of your requirements. You said you wanted to use recordings of your guitar and vocals so you can’t blame me for assuming “backing track”.

I myself plan to explore the direction of playing longer audio files (“backing tracks”) via Static Machine from the CF card, combined with using Flex Machine and maybe even Pickup Machine to sample from the backing tracks as they play. Part of the reason is I myself shied from playing backing tracks because I wanted to only work with audio that I captured via live looping - but now I’m ready for the bigger OT world.

Read the Merlin guide to OT for a complete explanation of the relative merits of Flex vs. Static Machine - one plays audio from RAM only and the other from CF card. Perhaps it will help you make some decisions how you want to use those guitar and vocal tracks inside the OT.