How much can you do with one 16-step pattern on the Octatrack? [video]


I hadn’t done a ‘slow build’ track for a while, and it felt appropriate here. This piece was developed from my audio demo for scene slot modulation. I used 3 stock samples - a drum loop, a vocal loop, a melodic loop, and one single cycle waveform from Adventure Kid. I challenged myself to use only 1 pattern, 16 steps long, without independent track lengths or scaling. So the arrangement was performed using only a few features - just the crossfader, scenes, and track mutes

Although I recorded a couple takes where I activated scene modulation I ended up selecting a take with only manual scene changes - the scene modulation helped me generate ideas but I didn’t feel that actively using it was necessary or helpful for what I was trying to accomplish at the time. With the use of additional patterns and MIDI loopback I could have done this as a purely ‘hit play’ performance, but that didn’t seem very interesting to me


Just watched this and enjoyed it very much. Thanks again! It also falls in with the One Year Science Lab thing that’s about to start. Set up strict limitations to seek out creative solutions…well, I enjoyed it anyway :slight_smile:


thanks man! I’ve been on a path towards relatively minimalist methods for a while now - limiting scope can be very helpful on many levels, and is a certain kind of freedom, and I find it encourages the cultivation of a certain kind of ‘artistic courage’. I’ll be following along with all the results of the OT science lab for sure - has already been very interesting to see how much discussion it’s generating!

on the not-as-limited side of things I have been feeling the need to re-arrange my main eurorack case soon though :joy:


4:57 is massive, dude. A veritable landslide victory: that’s what this sounds like. :laughing:

Much love (as per) <3


always appreciate it! :heart: this song reminds of the tracks where I used to always skip the first few minutes so I could get right to the ‘cool part’ when I was a kid - now I’m the jerk that puts a 5 minute build in there :joy::joy::joy:


Very cool, I like what you did here. I’m still in the early days of Octatrack, but I am digging what you can do with scenes. I still have a lot to learn though. As of right now, I’ve successfully managed to just max out all the parameters on scene B. Super-pro, I know…

Enough about me though - this jam was really cool and inspiring. Thanks for sharing.


Dude. It actually pays off tho. :laughing:


@cold_fashioned thanks a lot!! I have found from putting out music and videos recently it really is not about me - it’s primarily about how the viewer/listener ends up having their own internal experience, and what it means for them. I think that at it’s best art is a catalyst for deeper self-understanding and awareness through the perspectives of others. In a sense, if my music was just ‘for me’ or ‘about me’ there’d basically be no reason to publish it or promote it, and I’m always very curious to hear peoples’ raw impressions and the thoughts and feelings that first come to their minds

@vvilms hah! younger-me disagrees! :laughing: I kinda went with the slow build arrangement since that seemed the easiest way to create a satisfying story arc with just one pattern available - and quite hilariously it turned a 16-step pattern at 120bpm into almost 7 minutes :sweat_smile: