Curious about some workflow of the OT (don't have one)


I’m dreaming about an Octatrack a bit and have some questions.

Let’s say I make a sequence on another Elektron box and I want to record it into the OT. Obviously I would sync MIDI, but how “quantized” (for lack of a better term) does it record the sequence? For instance, can I tell the OT to only play one loop of a pattern, to start recording when the loop starts and stop recording when the loop ends? Or once my audio is recorded, do I then have to go into the screen and set the start point, end point, all that stuff? If so, how tedious is that? Also, does the OT know the tempo of the sequence I just recorded so it can time stretch it across different BPM?

Nextly, do you guys do this? What sorts of fun things do you like to do once you’ve recorded, say, a RYTM or DN sequence into your OT? How do you mangle it after it’s in the box?

Thanks guys!

Another OT workflow question (still don't have one)

Record trigs can be set to record whatever amount of steps you want (so long as you have the available ram). You set those record trigs wherever you want on the sequencer like any other trig. The recorded audio will be a perfect loop of that number of steps. It will store the BPM in the sample data.

I like to take loops, slice them, set linear trigs, then mangle the fuck out of it and it will stay on time because each slice is being triggered on the beat.


Ah interesting… Given the Elektron workflow it makes sense that to record you would need to set trigs… Bare in mind I know virtually nothing about the Octatrack.

What is a linear trig?


You can slice a sample into 16 slices, for example, then set 16 linear trigs which will play each slice in time, the length of the loop, so it sounds like the regular loop. The advantage is that each slice trigs in time so you could time stretch and reverse it or whatever and it will still be on beat since it’s triggering each of the 16 slices. You can also randomize the slices and get instant variations of the chopped up loop.

The slicing, linear trigs, and randomization are all instant commands. Nothing super tedious on the user.


… Oh my.

That sounds really, really fun.


Yeah. For me, stuff like that, in addition to being a solid live device, is why I have an Octatrack. I still make most of my stuff with a computer but the OT is a great tool for progressing sound design and or just generating some variations. It’s sort of my go to when I get stuck writing progressions or need to make a part a little more interesting. You can literally just slice up and randomize drum loops, for example, until you generate something you like and just tweak it a bit.

I’m definitely an OT fanboy but I would always recommend it to someone who isn’t scared to really learn it. Besides an analog mono synth it’s the only piece of hardware I own because, despite being a software user, the OT still does things in a way that feels really experimental to me.


This guy goes through a quick example of this technique.



64 steps max unfortunately, but you can quantize rec buttons to a specific length to stop longer recordings. :wink:


Ah, okay. Thought it was a bit longer but I’ve never really used them longer than 64. My bad.


And if I had to hazard a guess, after looping a recorded sequence, I can probably p lock the hell out of everything. Tell one trig to be reverse, another trig to have this effect all the way up… And on and on.

Very cool. I’ll watch that video shortly when I’m not watching Harry Potter :stuck_out_tongue:


Yes. The linear lock randomization technique is an examples of this. Like any other Elektron machine you can continue to lock trigs with a virtually unlimited amount of parameters. There’s an exact limit mentioned somewhere on this thread but it’s like hundreds of parameters per step if I remember right. I’ve never needed anything like that… yet. :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:

Then there’s scenes and parts… It’s deep.


Even better, it’s in realtime, while recording. You also can use many rec trigs and corresponding play trigs. I use that technique in that test below.
For reverse and pitch up, play trigs have to be delayed.

Guitar only, no samples, realtime Octatrack processing of the guitar sound to make drums sounds etc…


Always blown away by your generative guitar pieces. You are a madman.


I’ve certainly gathered that in my readings of this forum :stuck_out_tongue:

That’s pretty crazy. So you’re telling me that, let’s say I have a 1-bar sequence going on from the stereo out of my MnM, I can tell the OT to, on trig 5 for instance, reverse that sound? In real time? Or any other p-lock I want? I don’t even understand how this is possible lol.

Then, I guess it stands to reason that once I have THAT real-time performance sounding groovy, I can record it and keep it as a sample and then mangle it even more, yes?

So are there limitations to what you can do in real time vs what’s already recorded?

Also, what are these different trigs? Rec, play? Is it like the MnM where you can have trigs that JUST trigger the LFO, or the filter, or the amp?


“Real time” with a tiny bit of latency for the record buffer. From what I understand, and @sezare56 can clarify this, is that you can push the trigs back slightly with micotiming to compensate for that. I don’t play live instruments so I can’t speak on it completely, but I have fucked around with this technique running sounds from my computer into the OT.





It does most everything without stopping. You can set up pre arranged sequences of slices with whatever plocks or warping you like using the “recorder buffers” which are like placeholders for recordings/samples you haven’t even made yet. The buffers are in the sample list and the OT treats them just like any other sample that you’d load to it. Since you can make sequences with them before you record into them all manner of crazy sauce stuff can be done live.


Wow. Here I was under the impression that all the magic happens once you get sounds inside of the machine…But I guess not.

How difficult is it to set up these pre-arranged sequences of slices? Can you save these? Are they basically patterns or scenes or what?


They are exactly like any other sequence. Only difference is the assigned samples is a record buffer rather than a file.


Of course there are limits namely something needs to be already recorded when the “playhead” comes to that position. When you start recording and playback at the same time it is okay to pitch down the playback, but when you try to pitch it up (speedup playback) you will run out of samples immediately.