How do you mix with the Octatrack?


#1

Hey All,

I’m relatively new here (signed up last year but didn’t really post) and wanted to get some opinions about mixing with the Octatrack, preferably from users that use it to compose full tracks.

To give a little background, I actually bought an OT about a year ago from Sweetwater, but it was a “demo” unit that was basically DOA. The sample editor didn’t work, the unit often froze, and there were all sorts of random glitches (like some trigs would randomly mute for no reason). It took so long to get a replacement unit that I lost interest by the time it came, and sold it.

That said, I did use it for a few weeks, and despite the issues I’d say it was probably the most fun I’ve had using a hardware piece. The main reason I ultimately sold was the lack of individual outputs made mixing seem difficult/impossible.

Now, I kinda regret selling it so hastily, and am considering re-purchasing it and giving it a fairer shake (having a new working unit will hopefully make things easier!) I’ve also been watching lots of YouTube videos and listening to tracks made with OT, and some people are getting pretty good mixes going.

Thus, does anyone have general tips/workflows for mixing? Ie, is it better to pre-mix samples before importing them, or try and mix in the box? The latter tripped me up, because you only have two effects slots per track, so adding EQ and compression would leave no room for creative effects.

Any suggestions appreciated!


Getting closer to a "mastered" result without going ITB/daw
#2

I’m a new user so obviously take this with a pinch of salt - but a couple of things spring to mind;

The OT sequencer is VERY tight. So tight I’d have no qualms about ,multi-tracking to a DAW one track/subgroup or whatever at a time, then syncing them by hand in the DAW.

Alternatively spend a lot of time selecting and pre-treating samples to help make ITB mixes better. If you have a high-end sound card you may get better results ‘sampling’ into the DAW then exporting to the OT (i.e. making use of the better converters on the way in)

My early impressions of the OT are that sound quality ITB is excellent if you pay attention to gain staging/frequency separation/sound selection. Damn, it sounds better than my DAW, and I’ve only used it in 16 bit mode so far.

Main thing is buy another OT obviously. :wink:


#4

there’s a “new” effect that helps with stereo field seperation,the spatializer.


#5

agree with previous posters except don´t record each track seperatly into a daw, that sounds too cumbersome.

Instead record single tracks with effects into the octa itself, then replace the sample with newly recorded sample, add new effects, then resample. Or rerecord the sample with a new layer of the same effects, can sound very nice.

You have two stereo outs on the octa so use one for say melodies/pads and one for drums/bass and you´ll be fine.

Also conceptually it is useful imo to regard what is coming out of the OT as “one” track rather than 8 seperate ones.


#6

In terms of mixing I always use track 8 as master, but otherwise change setup from project to project. The last thing I worked on has compressor and delay on the master, been using the lfo to make some nice “fake” sidechain compression on the melody/sound design tracks (going to the main out) while the drums/bass goes to the “cue out” and a seperate compressor.


#8

Thanks for the replies all.

Sounds like a combination of pre-mixing samples and using neighbor tracks/resampling is the best method.

Recording tracks into a DAW separately would not be the end of the world, but I can see this being really fussy in cases where you use lots of sample chains, or are frequently swapping samples on different tracks (and for me this is where things really go interesting).

If only Overbridge could work for OT :stuck_out_tongue:

Well, if anyone else has any other tips I am all ears, thanks!


#9

Outsourcing specific tasks (kick, sidechaining, bass) makes life far easier. Just my 2 cents.

You can do a lot inside the OT but all these LFO etc. workarounds are not the same as MIDI controlling a MBase which triggers a sidechain comp on the OT’s main out (RNLA in my case, recommend it very much) and maybe a bass synth to be multi-track recorded to a different track. Alternatively, you can cue the kick track and send it into the sidechain comp which treats the OT’s main out, but then you lose that great studio mode FX send feature, which I, for instance, have always wired to a nice Strymon El Cap delay!


#11

You could run the OT’s main and Cue outs into the Analog 4 and then into OB.
I’m sure Elektron will give us a nice diagram of how OB will work with some of their older products along side the newer Analog range.


#12

That’s ACE!! :+1:

I had to read it a couple of times and look up what the RNLA and MBase were, but that sounds really sweet!!! Good work!![/quote]
Thx! The RNLA has a nice log release btw, choose this one not the RNC.


#14

I read a post on another thread regarding using midi to record performance data (pattern changes, scenes, crossfader, etc) then playing this back to the OT two times to collect 4 tracks with each pass. This idea is pretty intriguing but it seems that Ableton is only recording the note data rather than the CCs, any insight on how one would do this?