Just bought an octatrack. So yeah


40th birthday present. I must really love punishment or something. Have a DT and love it. Every time I turn on Ableton it crashes so basically dawless. I’ve looked at enough yt video to get an idea of what I’m in for. Or have I? I must be crazy. Convince me I’m not?


Welcome to the club dude! I’m only in a month myself. Top tip: read Merlin’s guide. Search for it on google

There’ll be some things you’ll maybe miss over the DT but the workflow of the OT kills the DT imo…esp in how parts and patterns fit together as well as how scenes can help progress songs …the Merlin section on scene stacking is eyeopening and really good to help you get to grips with the OT

Sofar I haven’t loved the Cuckoo tutorials as he’s just so much better at them now. Mostly been using this forum and watching clips on small issues … say like yesterday I figured out how to run a 128 step sample via a static track by setting up individual track tempos …2hrs bluh but now I know it :slight_smile:


crucial starting point. :thup:

I prefer the MK2, but had I been more dedicated I could have got by with the MK1, which I had only borrowed for a week, plus it would better match my A4 MK1 :diddly:


read Merlin’s guide before reading the manual. but keep the manual close by as a reference. don’t get too engrossed with diving into every video and walk-through you see. Merlin gives you a great overview of how everything is arranged and some great examples. that’ll be enough to get you going. then just look for videos or parts of the manual as needed.

in short: I think trying to swallow the whole thing whole is the wrong approach. get your bearings. start writing garbage tracks with it just to play around. have fun. when you need to learn something, look it up and apply it. you’ll remember it that way. if you’re learning just to learn, you’ll forget it.


Enjooooooyyyy!!! :))


Enjoy the trip down the rabbit hole.

And yeah, read Merlin’s guide.


Don’t be shy, experiment with it! Best learning is playing. Our kids know why!


I have no idea what any of that means. It’s like you guys are speaking Russian. J/k. Bottoms up comrades! :tumbler_glass:


This. So much this.

And congrats on turning 40. I will be joining that illustrious club sooner than I’d like! :wink:


If it is too much to chew on trade it for a Digitakt


I already have a DT which got me versed in the elektron workflow. So prob won’t trade it, ever. Besides, you only get 1 chance at this thing called consciousness and life so you might as well spend all your time mangling samples into oblivion while you’re here. Unless you believe in reincarnation, in which case I would wish be to reincarnated as an Octatrack! I mean, it’s theoretically possible. I will now be eaten by a monster! Stay tuned…


I don’t think I’ve ever properly read Merlin’s Guide. Downloaded it a few times but preferred to ask questions here, watch videos or, most importantly, experiment.

Be prepared to be frustrated. Get over that hump and you may well fall in love with the OT


Just be sure to give it the time it deserves and don’t give up easily. Too many people get frustrated and ditch it in a hurry, without ever discovering that it might do some special thing that will inspire them.

I’ll echo what @chiasticon said. Don’t try to take it all in at once. Like a DAW (which it most emphatically isn’t), the Octatrack does many, many things - some of which you may never need. Some people are happy to use it as a performance mixer, for instance, something I have never actually tried in the five years since I first bought one.

Don’t look at it as having one big learning curve - look at it as a bunch of smaller curves and tackle each one as needed. Need a looper? Focus on the pickup machines until you have them down. Want a beatslicer/mangler? Get your head around the Flex Machines. Take each bit in turn.

Also, happy 40th, kiddo!


Thanks everyone. I guess I could have bought a Tesla instead. But they can’t take me to outer space. Plus no p-locks and that’s where I draw the line.

Just for perspective my most expensive guitar is my $600 PRS SE. It seriously sounds great. Maybe I’ll buy that Taylor T5 for my 41st birthday. Always gotta have something to dream about. But no more dreaming about the OT! It’s like marrying a really hot chick. The gift that keeps on giving. Oh yeah, got that too. Thank you Universe!


Thavius Beck tutorial courses on macprovideo.com also highly recommended - they helped me no end.


Another rec for Merlin Guide and just take it one step at time. (ie. make a beat with flex/static tracks, then add some scenes., then look at live sampling, … this can go forever, some many possible uses) Don’t try and do to many things at once


I second this! Huge help.
I started on the DT (thankfully) and added an OTmkii about 4-6 months later. For me the learning curve was quite frustrating at first, but I stuck with it. Next thing I knew I’m doing tons of music and wound up selling my DT to help fund an A4mkii and have no regrets. I could’ve gladly kept the DT, but by that point I was having so much fun on the OT, I just never got back to the DT. Plus I really wanted an A4 and hadn’t saved up enough dough when I got offered one at a great price.
Now, I can’t imagine not having an OT in my life and I’m still very much a beginner with mine. You really can keep learning new things for years. Amazing machine! Congrats and happy birthday!


Thank you. Nice to have a cool place with nice people to celebrate with! Feel like I want to start downsizing my setup now. Crazy to spend $800 on something that doesn’t actually make any sound?! Here’s to the space in between the notes, the space between the molecules…


No p-locks is indeed a deal killer. :grinning:

My main guitar around the time I bought my Octatrack also cost me $600 - Reverend Jetstream 390 in my case. However since that time I haven’t controlled my guitar GAS as well as my synth GAS. I now own two American-made Fenders - Telecaster Elite and Eric Johnson Thinline Strat. My main electric violin also cost $600 - a Yamaha YEV-105. I have another one that costs more but I prefer the YEV.

I started out using the Octatrack’s Pickup Machines to loop my violin and guitar, gradually learning how to use Flex Machines to take the audio mangling to a new level, etc. I plan to get more familiar with Arranger mode (aka “song mode”).


I’ve been enjoying drum slices lately, but still havent figured out that magic capture fir fitting 64 samples neatly into bars to choo into a slice grid.
It’s fun to use scenes to mirph along the drum slices.