Yes, that is the octatrack! Ive been scratching my head for a month with that instrument. Finally i think i got figured out… somewhat. For the first time i feel somewhat that i am at the wheel and controlling the OT not the other way around. But ive love it since day 1. Those possiblities of using it… mind blowing! Give it some time and learn - you wount regret it
Four years in and I can safely say the OT is my most used instrument. The more you use it the more you discover, and the more you realise how incredible this machine is! It makes me wonder why Elektron bother making anything else haha
I bought it with a very specific purpose in mind, (to replace a laptop for playing stems of my tracks for gigs) and to this day I still have never used it that way. It opened up realms of creativity I might never have found otherwise. Much as I love my synth collection, I think the Octatrack is my favourite bit of gear.
I sample with it, I use it as an effects unit, I drive other gear with it, I play live with it, I use it just on its own to make all kinds of music, I use it in band. Yep, I’m octahooked!
OT totally changed my way of looping : it can play and mangle your recordings at each step, in realtime. Here the bass sound is pitch - 1 octave, and drums from the guitar sound filtering / fx sequencing.
Cool. I still love playing my guitar. It’s such an accessible means of performance. I definitely feel like I have pushed my guitar-playing to the limit but I’m no protege. I started collecting pedals decades ago. It’s a lifelong journey of discovery. I was jamming out today in my living room while my kids played around. It sounded brilliant with my looper pedal plugged into my stereo receiver
Gotta say though, after a week with the OT, I am definitely having some fun. It’s like complete improvisation with the OT and DT. I am not even trying to plan out what I am doing and it f$&kin rocks. Anyway the wind blows doesn’t really matter to meeee… to me.
How are you liking your OT a few weeks in? Does it work well with your guitar-playing? Hard to learn when you know your way around the DT?
Like you I still love playing guitar. I think it’s fun just noodling around, and I have a few pedals to make it extra fun. My guitar is the starting point for most of the stuff I write and it’s definitely not the guitar playing or looping perse that is starting to bore me. It’s my set and how I’ve been approaching live shows for the last 4 years or so. I feel like what I’m doing is too linear. I just play the songs and that’s it. I would love to be able to improvise a little more. I think the OT could give me that extra layer of flexibility in performance that I’m currently missing in my MPC. The stuff I’ve seen with the OT on Youtube is insane and I think it would open up a ton of possibilities, but it’s an expensive piece of kit and I’ve never spent that much on an instrument so I’m still in doubt…
I am definitely having fun with the OT. It also cost more than any other instrument/guitar I have ever purchased. But it is such a unique instrument it really doesn’t compare to other instrument, even an expensive guitar/synth. It can be a synth, or a guitar, or drum machine, looper, sampler, sample player, sound mangler, stream backing tracks, dj like a pair of turntables, the list is almost endless. Not to sound too cliche, but it’s a deep machine.
Still, it is not instant gratification like the DT but they are a powerhouse combo. Improvising can lead to interesting results but the most success I have had is by making each pattern/scene sound unique; almost able to stand on its own as a track. And then making sure the patterns work with the DT. So it requires some methodology and preparation, along with trial and error, to make it sound good. I haven’t really dug too deep into sampling (!), real-time recording trigs, pickup machines, or the arranger. It’s like a black hole of musical experimentation. Definitely not linear, more multidimensional. Here is my first worthwhile creation. Live set. 1 take. No edits. No overdubs.
I totally agree with this. While things can be done off the cuff, I’m realizing that if I take a little more time up front to organize samples a certain way, or try sample chains, even more possibilities can be unlocked.
I picked up an OT(mk2) in January. I previously had a Digitakt, and still have a Digitone. There were some growing pains in learning the OT as it does things a little differently in how samples are loaded, etc. Though, after learning how to work within the OT’s file system, etc., I’m now more comfortable exploring some of the different uses. Bottom line – I’m having fun. Taking it slow, experimenting with small parts of the feature set at a time, building up the muscle memory with each successive project. Scenes (i.e. scene locks), slicing, trig conditions, 3 LFO’s per track(!) really allow for some wild and crazy trips. Each project seems to take on a life of its own as I go along. i.e. I recently started out with an aim to make a hip-hop like tune, but it has now morphed into some kind of industrial downtempo. Perhaps that’s just my style imprinting itself as I go along. That seems to be the kind of music I’m into right now.
Anyway, not to clog up the thread, but after 5-6 months, I’m very glad I jumped on the Octatrack train. Next stop: After working with just OT on its own, I’m going to try running Digitone & OP-Z into it, sampling and tweaking patterns. Time to see what all the buzz is about.
The OT continues to impress me–after a bout of work, that is. Yesterday I recorded some samples from one song into four recorder tracks, found the tempo (the song was in 3 so I had to do some math…), sliced them up to the grid, saved and assigned each one (WHY CAN’T I COPY AND PAST NAMES OF FILES) and put the machine into slice mode. I leaned back and realized this whole process took about 20 minutes and found myself mildly frustrated, cursing the workflow of the OT.
I reversed the string sample slices and played them until I got a new melody I liked, then recorded it without caring much for grid and timing just for the sake of workflow–no quantizing involved unless it sounded obviously off and bad, in which case I adjusted the microtiming.
Melody in tact, I shaved off some highs and applied some filt distortion to pleasing results, then changed the rate to - 32 for half speed reverse effects. After playing with the LFOs set to various shapes and destinations, (square to volume, inv exp to rate (one of my favorite tricks, makes it sound like a tape machine starting up every trig), and of course triangle to balance) I found myself with a texture very much like a synthesizer. Throw in some delay and we’re cooking.
Now some time had passed and I realized I hadn’t even touched the other three samples.
What a great machine.
Yes, you can. I do it alll the time when sampling. Don’t have OT by me, but I think it was FUNC+Copy when “naming” dialog box is open, then FUNC+Paste when naming next sample
Thank you. I should’ve gone to the noob thread lol
I gotta try this!
I put it on every sample. It’s getting out of control but I love the effect so much. You can also p lock the depth of the LFO if you don’t want it as pronounced on certain trigs, or you know MORE pronounced.
Be sure the trig is set to ONE. But I’ve also had fun results with having it repeat…
what are the top risks of using arranger live if you’re depending also on the scenes fader?
TBH, I have only had the OT for a couple months, so I am not the best person to answer this question. I usually search the forum for the keyword in question (arranger). Then see what I come up with. Or create a new thread, or ask one of the OT Jedi masters on this forum directly. Good luck in your journey!
Why would it be risky? You can always use scenes changes and crossfader.
Happy accidents are all you risk, that’s the OT’s signature
I haven’t used the arranger yet so maybe it’s not a big issue but if you program scene changes and the fader is on the wrong side, the change is overuled no?
He might inadvertently arrange for his own violent mugging after a salacious red light evening. Oh, eh?
Oh man I couldn’t restrain myself and got an OT too. Found a really good deal on a used MK2 with 2 more years of warranty and just couldn’t pass…
I thought I wanted it for live performance, but the more I read into it the more I think it’ll be an amazing production tool too. I plan to use it for beats obviously but also with my Digitone and guitar. Guitar into the OT for pickup machine looping madness and then cue out into my pedalboard and amps. Should be fun!
Finished plowing through the manual and Merlins guide just now, took lots of notes on how I want to set it up and crazy stuff I want to try. Damn, this thing is even more powerful than I thought… I think I can sell my Digitakt, MPC and a few pedals without even missing them. Will be (re)building patterns the next couple of days I think on the OT and see what happens! Can’t wait to mess with scenes and parts
You can set the same scene for A and B.
Anyway it’s like programming a GPS, you still have to turn left or right!