Changing the 'active' Track on an Octatrack from a MIDI controller


Does anyone know if there is way via MIDI to change which Track is active on the OT? I want to assign buttons on my MIDI controller to select any of the 8 MIDI tracks on the OT.

Setup: Novation ReMOTE MIDI Out to OT MDI In.
OT MIDI Out to Virus MIDI In.

The OT provides sequencing to the Virus on all 8 Midi Tracks. The ReMOTE is sending information over MIDI to the Auto Channel, controlling various CC’s I have mapped that relate to the Virus. Essentially allowing me to not have to touch either the Virus or the OT during a performance. But I have to keep switching MIDI Tracks on the OT to modulate/change/etc the various parts on the Virus. If I could just make those changes on the ReMOTE that would make this process pretty seamless.

Hopefully that makes sense. Just trying to figure out if anyone knows if the OT is capable of receiving that type of information remotely.


You can increment and decrement the number of the Active Track by sending MIDI note numbers 68 and 69 to the OT. See page C-1 of the manual.

In order to select a specific track as Active from an external MIDI controller using a single button push, you would need to program the button to send note messages to decrement to track 1 then increment to the desired track number. I don’t know whether your controller can do that.


Yep. It’s a pity you can’t directly select the active track with the Ot midi implementation.
You can also do it with Control Changes, emulating notes of appendix C of the manual :

CC 59 | Note on (0=C-1, 127=G9)
CC 60 | Note off (0=C-1, 127=G9)


Not sure with midi tracks Active Track change with CCs. Didn’t try it. It works for audio tracks.

“Active track up and down only works on the
auto channel.”


Thanks everyone! I was wondering if that might do it. I can be pretty precise with how the controls work so I think I should be able to get this to work…possibly. If I can’t it’s probably more a problem with me and not the gear.


That won’t work with the OT’s MIDI sequencer tracks.


Yep. Not a big surprise. :wink:


This is certainly interesting to me! So you can change the active track +/- with MIDI notes?

Can you change the active track to a MIDI track as well, or only to the 8 audio tracks?

inc/dec control is all I’d need, the bomebox can handle the rest :sunglasses:

EDITED: Meant the active track, not the auto channel…


No, you can increment/decrement the Active Track number by sending the designated MIDI note numbers to the OT on its Auto Channel.

Again, read page C-1 of the manual for the specifics.


hmm ok so you cannot change to midi tracks, only to audio tracks? That’s how it looks to me from reading appendix C… Bummer.


I agree that it is not very clear, because it is written in the Recorder/Pickup list…

“The track recorder/Pickup machine actions are mapped to MIDI
notes as follows. Active track up and down only works on the
auto channel.”

So I confirm you can change Active Track in Midi Track mode with the Auto Channel with midi notes, it happen sometimes when you play some notes, even if you don’t want it ! :smile:


I got it to work by settng up a ‘page up’ and a ‘page down’ button on my midi keyboard. This allows me to change which track is currently active. If i am on the MIDI side it changes them. So this is probably the best Ill be able to get it and that works just fine for me. Now on my midi keyboard I can play on any of the 8 midi tracks, moving between them, without having to touch the OT.


It seems that note 68 G#4 is active track down and note 69 A4 is active track up, it should be the other way round according to note table in manual.

Anyone care to verify?

Octatrack OS Bug Reports

My old Max patch was at hand so I looked there and I have Track Up on 68 there

Up Numerically or Topographically (North) ?

Afaicr it all worked as it should - because, check everything

Now whether there’s a glitch since or MK2 issue I don’t know

But I guess the manual tallied with my experience a few years back fwiw

I’ll move to dedicated bugs discussion thread shortly


Thanks, I have note 68 decreasing track number, eg if track 5 is in focus note 68 moves focus to track 4, and note 69 increasing track number.

I assume that active track up would be a numerical increase and active track down would be numerical decrease, I take it we are in agreement on that?

It might be a mkII issue (or 1.30D) so it would be interesting to know from others.


OTmkII 1.30C here.
Note 68: track4 to track3 (Up :arrow_up: visually)
Note 69: track3 to track4 (Down :arrow_down: visually)

Would Next/Previous be clearer?


Thanks, yeah I think it is not meant to be directionally/visually up on the buttons but numerically, because if your focus is on track 5 and you press note 68 it goes diagonally down to left, not up :wink:


Erm, I do too, this is likely rooted in visualizing track one at the top

if the tracks were left to right 1 to 8 then 68 going left makes sense, 69 going right makes sense - just like arrow keys in the correct relative place i.e. <> and not ><

so maybe this has always been the case and my assumption it was up to the top (i.e. not numerically) was something I noticed and accepted as the way it was meant to be

then again, maybe this has flipped

I now agree the wording isn’t good

I’m now on 1.30 TRC os
maybe @Open_Mike can comment on 1.24

I think we’re looking at the physical interface as two consecutive top down pages, so up is heading back to 1 and down is getting to the last track in line T8 as per a daw

absolutely clear as mud now you mention it


well, previous / next might be for 68/69

in either case I will point the Elektron manual guy to this part of the thread

my hunch is that the system is all as intended, but Up has to link to what a foot pedal user would see on the track lights (yes 5>4 looks wrong except using the idea of a book)

it’s semantics and by virtue of us even debating it it’s not quite right enough

prev/next works and is consistent with TRC usage

but people will possibly interpret previous as meaning last track selected !

Track Minus / Track Plus or Track < & Track > may be options
or just an explanation footnote on manual page for Up / Down meaning

PS @darenager : moved this again to an existing thread as it’s probably not a bug and more of a manual wording issue


I think possibly active track INC/DEC would be the clearest wording.

Or INC/Down DEC/Up maybe?

@eangman what do you think?