Is this a proper use case for Parts?

Still wrapping my head around Parts. Here is what I’d like to do, am I thinking about this correctly? :

Record say, a 4 bar sample off a synth or drum machine into a flex spot and sequence it. Make some scenes for transitions. Save the Part.

Go to part 2 - record another 4 bar sample off the drum machine but it’s not the same, maybe a fill, maybe different sounds…etc. Sequence it a little differently from Part1. Make new scenes with new transitions. Maybe change the effects on this track as well.

And so on…

Is this the proper way to approach Parts? Just asking before I start working on a track and screw something up…haha.

Well, let’s state the obvious:

Parts hold the configuration data like what machines are used on the tracks and which samples and stuff like this. Patterns hold the sequence data. Each pattern has one (out of four possible) parts assigned to it. Each bank of patterns has its own 4 possible parts.

So when you want in track 1 in pattern 1 play sample A and track 1 in pattern 2 play sample B you’ll need two different parts to hold the different configurations.

About the “recording into a flex spot”: the recorders of the OT don’t record into a flex machine, but record into a record buffer. Flex machines are for playback. They play back a sample from the sample list (the recorder buffers are also listed at the beginning of the sample list so a flex machine can also play back their content directly).


Yeah I misspoke on the flex. I just meant Id use flex machines.

So from what you are saying it sounds like I have this correct then.

Fine. :slight_smile:

BTW: just make sure you use different flex slots for the different samples, because the list is global.


The Four parts can be used to have different samples, different machines etc. But within one pattern theres only one pattern/sequence of trigs.

So if you want to sequence a little differently by having different trigs, that wont fly by changing parts within a pattern.

If I understand what you’re wanting to do correctly……

PS: if im somehow wrong, which i often am, i will be SOOOO happy:)

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So long as this is done on a different pattern, you’re good to go.


I would recommend reading Merlin’s guide to the Octatrack to get a handle on what is and isn’t possible with parts:

Do more sketches. Make more mistakes. Invite happy accidents.

As said earlier, Parts hold the configuration of the Tracks and Scenes, but not any Pattern informations. If you have any experience with modular, Parts are similar to a patch. You can use them to make radical changes to both the sound coming out (samples, FX, LFOs) and to the behaviour (machines, scenes) of the OT. You could also make them subtle variations of one another (e.g. change which sample chain you’re using).

If that’s “right” for your track, do it!

You can also use them to flip between “modes” of behavior… like use one with Thru machines and another with Flex machines on the same track to flip between live and sampled versions of external instruments. I’ve not tried this yet so I only vaguely understand it.

Have a think about what you’re trying to achieve. Sometimes you don’t want to change any of the FX, LFOs etc when you change sample (because maybe that’s how your track is going). In that case, you probably want a sound lock instead of a Part change. Or you only want to change something about how the LFOs or FX behave (speed, depth, filtering…) then use p-locks rather than “waste” a Part on such a small change.

I advise to get rid of this “Part” concept in your head: the name is misleading, it’s definitely not meant to be a “part” of e.g. a song. Think of it as a “Kit”, more, like the settings for all the tracks.

So you don’t “go to part 2”.
You go to a Bank (e.g. A) then choose a Pattern (e.g. A01), and then you can assign to this Pattern either of the 4 Parts available for this Bank.
The Pattern gathers the trig information, while the Part gathers the sound information.
As you have only 4 Parts and 16 Patterns per Bank, you’ll have to share Parts across different patterns. It’s usually not a problem, unless this relationship between Pattern and Part is not clear in your mind.


A few people on here talk about using “four patterns per track” as a way to organise their songs/tracks/performances. I imagine this comes from the OT. Each Bank has four Parts shared by sixteen patterns: even distribution suggests that four sets of four patterns use one Part each.

(There are many other ways to organise your songs.)

I personnaly tried to use the part for Scales with locked root Key lock / transpositions and tried to make easy mode variations switching patterns/parts
To play live…

But it’s not easy.
Can be convenient but need some work

Parts also hold the configuration for midi tracks - midi channel, midi cc assignments, note, arp, lfo pages - and also program changes. If you want to automate program changes, you have to use different parts. Only when you change to a pattern, that is linked to a another part or reload the part, OT will send program changes.

A part contains

Audio tracks:

  1. Information about which machines are assigned to the tracks
  2. Information about which Flex and Static sample slots are assigned to the machines
  3. Track effects assignments
  4. Track parameter settings (=all the values set for the various parameters from playback/src, amp, lfo, fx1 and fx2
  5. 16 scenes

Midi tracks:

  1. Midi channel, program/bank change message and midi cc assignments set for each track
  2. Parameters set for note, arp, lfo and midi cc assignments

Thanks all. So many good answers that I may end up more confused…haha. Let me ask this question just so it makes sense what I am trying to do.

I am currently using my OT for 3-4 tracks of a song. For the sake of simplicity, lets make this example 2. One is a chord progression from a synth and one is vocal off a record. I want to record 3 takes of a vocal, all a bit different. Same with the chords.

I know I could just record each take to a new buffer, then save the sample into a flex machine. If I did that for all 6, I would still have 2 machines open.

But lets say I don want to do that, and instead I want the vocals all in machine 1 and the chords in machine 2. My assumption was that I used a different part for each take I wanted to record. That way I could have different sample variations and also sequence and effect each take differently. Based on what @Schnork posted above, I think I may be correct, but I also feel like I could be missing something too. If so I apologize.

You could do it that way.

Alternatively, you could record a take, save the file, then record the next take and save that file. Now you could load the samples into individual sample slots and use the “sample lock” (or “sound lock”?) feature to play the different takes/samples. This would use more Patterns, but only one Part.

Alternatively alternatively, you could configure more RAM for the sample buffers, and record all three takes as one sample. Then you could slice the sample, and configure the track to play slices, and p-lock the slice number. Or you could forego the slices and p-lock the sample start time to catch each take. Again… this would only use one Part, but probably multiple Patterns. This even works if you use Static Machines to play back.

I’ve been assuming you’re doing this “at compose time”, not aiming to sample live in a jam or performance.

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I use parts for:

-Risk free experimentation
-Additional fx options i.e. 2 identical parts, all but for different fx on the master channel
-Continuity over different patterns
-Getting more mileage out of a single pattern


Yes, at compose time in the studio. That second alternative is interesting. I didn’t even think about Sample slots…that actually makes a lot of sense and may be simpler. I think I would lose out on trying different effects on the sample if I understand correctly. I would have the 2 assigned on that flex machine and then the 2 on my master track.

Whereas with parts I could have totally different effects on the flex and master if I wanted.

At least this is what I think, I could very easily be wrong here.