Easiest way to sample sounds into the OT while playing live?

I’ve scoured teh internets for the easiest way to quickly sample from an outside source going into Inputs A-B or C-D and assign the sample to a trig - but I have only become more confused and frustrated. Most tuts are way too complex and go into resampling, internal sampling, etc. Some videos go on for more than an hour and cover so much only for me to be disappointed as the presenter offers their way of sampling which can be extremely convoluted but works for them. Some require pushing multiple buttons and I’m unable to do so as I only have 2 hands with which I need to play the instrument I’m sampling right away. I don’t have a 3rd hand to start and stop the sample recording.

So… what’s the easiest (and fastest) way to sample an external source with the fewest button pushes / menu dives and keeping in my mind that sometimes both of my hands may be busy playing. Thanks.

Foot controller?

If you know how long you need to sample for, and you know the sampling has to happen at a specific moment, you can use rec trigs with a fixed recording length. You can play it right away by assigning the track’s flex slot to its own record buffer.


Sampling on the Octatrack can be a bit annoying since regardless of how you want your sampling to work you have to do a little bit of menu diving before getting it to behave that way.

If you enable quick record (in the personalize page in the system menu) it allows you to start recording into the selected track with one button press. I usually use the one2 trig mode which also stops the recording with the same button. When sampling instruments live I like to set qrec to plen and rlen to how long I want my sample to be.

One thing worth to remember is that record buffers are a separate thing from tracks and that any flex machine can play any record buffer.


Yeah I wish something that advertised itself as a sampler first and foremost allowed easy sampling capability. No wonder most people use it as a mixer instead! :roll_eyes:

I don’t understand. Do you expect the Octatrack to read your mind and begin sampling when you think it should? Or do you want a sort of “begin sampling after x” kinda thing?

First things first, are you trying to sample external gear that is synced to the Octatrack? Or random recordings that won’t be in time with whatever you got going on?

For the former situation, you’ll want a track ready to record the inputs for a set length of time. So if your pattern is two bars long, you’ll want its recording length to be 32 and for the sake of your sanity you’ll probably want quantized rec to be PLEN (pattern length) or 32. Then all you do is press REC1 (if you want to record AB) and it will start recording in time and end recording in time. Make sure this track is a flex machine set to its rec buffer, and bam lay down a trig and now it’s playing back your recording.

I find this video really helpful.

The OT definitely requires a lot of front end brainpower to get it to do what you want. But you do it enough times and then it’ll become muscle memory. It really does require some serious thinking at first though, no two ways about it

It’s also the only instrument that does what it does so well and this is partly due to the fact that the sampling isn’t super easy. Once the recording is inside the machine there are so many things you can do with it all without stopping playback. You can slice it up and lay down some random trigs, then p lock any of those trigs to be different pitches, different FX settings, different rates…You can resample whatever that is if you want and do it all over again and never press the stop button.

That’s not easy to do–but it’s possible and just takes practice. Make no mistake–what that guy does in the above video is a lot of muscle memory. Going that fast takes time and effort. I still have to consciously think about those sorts of decisions he makes and still second guess myself sometimes.


To answer the op’s question, the quickest way is one button push.

Set up a track as a Flex track, with it’s own recording buffer as it’s source. Track 1 uses rec buffer 1, for example.

Then, in the Octatrack’s settings, change the setting to enable “one-touch record.” (Check the manual for this.).

Then, whenever you want to sample something, hit one of the record keys.

REC 1 will sample inputs A/B
REC 2 will sample inputs C/D
REC 3 will sample from the internal source you choose.

I have the REC 3 source set to CUE, so I can cue any track (FUNCTION+TRACK button iirc) to send it to the recording.

That’s it! You can specify way more about how the recording happened. But the main point is, you just hit REC 1 (or 2 or 3) and you’re sampling.


Yeah and this can be quantised too. Not particularly difficult, just requires you to know the machine structure, know what you want and set it up first.

Got it. Thank you. I have an mk1 so only 2 REC buttons. To record internally is a bit more involved and I’ve never done that before.

It’s slightly more annoying. You have to press track + MIDI. This can be a pain if it’s tracks 5-8 you want to record to and do it with one hand…


This is true in principle, but when I tried doing live resampling, I got some weird behavior that seemed related to using buffers not directly related to the tracks. Never could figure out what happened, seemed like buggy behavior. One of the things I remember was that the buffers would record everything no matter what I set the inputs to. That one happened a lot.

I haven’t had any problems with it but I haven’t done a lot of more advanced live resampling. I usually just record a couple of loops of different external instruments and mash them together. I have had problems with buffers recording all inputs but that has been due to rouge record trigs placed by mistake.

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Might have been that in my case as well, but I seem to remember it being fixed with a recycle. The OT for sure has some mind bending mystery bugs, but the live resampling capabilities are none the less amazing.

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Src3 (Midi) RECORD QUICK mode works with one button, but only in REC SETUP, Grid Recording off.
I prefer to use Track + Rec, don’t have to think about selected track. Maybe I’d use Quick mode with an MKII.

I trig record a thru machine, that way I know my sample levels won’t be too much of a surprise when I enable it, and I’m quantized, and not too much pre setup. Lose a valuable track though…

If I’m really organized I’ll assign it to free flex slot right away.

Got this from Kenny Zhao, he has some really clear tuts on YouTube.