Connecting the Octatrack to Digitone

Hi all

I’m new here and I’ve searched the forum to see if there’s a Dummies’ Guide to this but there doesn’t appear to be, but apologies if I missed it.

I have an Octatrack and after about 4 weeks of use, YouTube tutorial-watching and quite intensive manual-reading I think I’ve finally got to grips with it. I’d love to connect it to a Digitone and try to use those two as a kind of hub for writing / sketching out new ideas.

The only thing is that the MIDI spec for both doesn’t make any mention of how, for example, you would do this:

  • Connect OT to DN
  • Allocate OT as master (this is covered)
  • Configure the OT to change patterns, or trigger certain patterns, on the DN as you change OT patterns

I’ve seen some stuff on here that seems to suggest patterns can be triggered by program changes but this seems an odd way to do it. Is that right though? How is everyone else who has this setup (or similar but with the Rytm or the Four) running things? I can’t believe you’d select patterns on both simultaneously - it’d be nice to be able to jam on both but at the same time allocate linked patterns where appropriate…

Any thoughts folks? Thanks!

JB

All you need is in the manual. :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:

From manual, p 95
Replace Machinedrum by Digitone

To sync patterns, check prog change send on above menu, choose a midi channel for it, and check prog send receive on the Digitone, same midi channel.

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Thanks a lot for that - I knew how to do the master / midi connection business but the program change stuff is the stuff that I found confusing. I also couldn’t find any mention of patterns correlating to program change messages - I would certainly expect to see that in the midi spec at the back given how detailed the rest of it is. I’ll have a play with this though.

Just to be clear then, is it PC0 = pattern 1, PC1 = pattern 2 and so on?

Yes and no. Elektron and many facturers use PC 1-128, but in fact values are 0-127.
Anyway patterns will correspond.

Don’t use midi tracks Prog Changes for pattern sync. It is better for synth patches.

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Sorry, I’m unclear what your second paragraph means / refers to? (Is any of this is the manual btw?!)

Me thinks you may be approaching this as a more complicated thing than it is. If you have things set as @sezare56 explained earlier when the OT switches patterns the DN will change patterns. There is no need to enter program changes for it to happen.

OT master, enable program change send in sync menu
Dn slave, enable program change receive
Put both machines on the same auto channel

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Are you trying to synch them so that pattern playing pattern B1 on Octatrack also causes pattern B1 on Digitone to play?

Then yes - on that MIDI Sync page on Octatrack, configure ‘PROG CH SEND’ to On, and choose a MIDI Channel. I like to use channel 16 for ‘housekeeping’ kind of midi like this.

Then in Digitone’s MIDI config (I think in ‘port config’), there’s a similar setting to ‘receive program change on channel N’. Set that to channel 16.

The program numbers then automatically handled at that point. B2 on Octatrack should equal B2 on Digitone.

I haven’t done this with Octatrack lately, but I’ve been using the same technique between Machinedrum and Digitone. All of the Elektrons can do this and it can let you write songs on multiple machines and if your bank and pattern numbers are the same, then all machines can move to the same patterns at the same time.

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I’ll add confusion again but this AUTO parameter is confusing anyway.

As @Open_Mike mentioned recently, Sync Prog Change AUTO is not AUTO CHANNEL.
I recommend to use another specific channel.

CH CHANNEL sets which channel the Octatrack should send program change messages on. The LEVEL knob is used to change this setting. If AUTO is chosen the first MIDI channel used by the audio tracks, and not used by any of the MIDI tracks, will be used. If CHANNEL is set to a specific MIDI channel, that channel will be used to transmit program change messages.

Program change messages are ignored by the Octatrack if received on the AUTO CHANNEL if the device is in MIDI mode.

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Ok, thanks all. Where do you get this info from though? I can’t find it in either manual and it seems like it ought to be. I might be being dim though (quite likely)

Pdf manual + search ! :slight_smile:

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This is interesting, I’ve had best results utilizing the auto channel but maybe I’m just getting lucky.

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I definitely learned about this from a manual but got it working with help from searching the forum

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That’s what’s so weird… I did that! Hmmm

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Make sure you have the manual and not just the quick start guide… :smiley:


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Hey!

So is there a way to choose specific patterns on the digitone? I have a lot of patterns already programmed in the digitone and want to choose to what pattern to go. In the above way the digitone patterns have to correspond exactly to the octatrack pattern?

First, you’ll want to adjust the SYNC settings for the Digitone. Refer to page 60 of the manual, and make sure that “CLOCK RECEIVE” and “PROG CH RECEIVE” are both checked.

Then, you’ll want to adjust the SYNC settings for the Octatrack. Refer to page 40 of the manual, and make sure that “TRANSPORT SEND,” “CLOCK SEND,” and “PROG CH SEND” are all checked.

This will make the Digitone slave to the Octatrack as master, so just connect a midi cable from the OT’s midi out to the DN’s midi in. Now, the patterns of the Digitone will automatically change when they do on the Octatrack.

If you’d rather have the OT send program change info to the DN manually, refer to “NOTE SETUP” on page 91 of the manual.

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I tried sequencing DN from OT but it doesn´t trig chords (DN track is set as chords). Am I doing anything wrong?

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Is it possible to only sync the bank change but not pattern change? I want to use different patterns in the Octatrack and a single pattern of the Digitone.

Deactivate receipt of Program Changes on the Digitone.

What do you mean by “sync the bank change”?