Learning Schedule for the Octatrack MKII

Hi fellow elektronauts
I bought the octatrack mk2 a month ago but couldn’t spend that much time with it til now due to pretty shitty work times.
Since I’m taking a 2 months break from work, starting in february, I’d like some kind of learning schedule.
I’m willing to spend like 3 hours a day with this beautiful machine.
The Octa is accompanied by a well known digitakt and a 6U 84hp modular synth.

Question 1:
Has somebody made some kind of learning schedule for the octa mk2 and would like to share it with the community ?
i.e.: day 1: resampling …
day 2: midi …

If there’s no learning schedule yet I’m willing to make one by myself and upload it in this thread.
Question 2:
Name the functions this schedule shouldn’t miss. Just bomb me.



@hellcore edit!

Personally I simply chose my priorities, read the chapter, practiced, read again, etc…
I think it’s important to read the manual entirely once. You can go back to chapters after.

As @pidgeo mentioned below, don’t try to learn another complicated machine at the same time, maybe alternatively. Try midi with something you already now well.
And…have fun!

Merlin’s Guide is mentioned oftenly, interesting approach, but not for me, I couldn’t finish it and I definitely preferred the manual and practice.
A polished version of Merlin's OT guide here

This book seems very interesting, suitable for different kinds of music production, or any type of procrastination, principles can be applied to OT. I have to read it entirely, my procrastination level is pretty high.


…and merlins guide “some thought about the ot”…can give u a good overview of that sonic monster u got right in front of u…

and for the rest…go for sezare advice…step by step…one after the other…and u’ll be all fine…
no smart ass here, that had no struggeling days to wrap the head around it in first place…

ps…now i also start posting before closer reading…sorry for double tips…
and speaking of procrastination…
i’m hanging around here way to often these days…
i better get my ass back to sonic workouts instead of all this…


off the top of my head, id start with it solo rather than with your modular etc hooked up. keep it simple.
get a bunch of samples loaded up into the flex list so you have em there ready when you need em in your new project.
as for a schedule, that’s up to you. watch a load of vids, read Merlins guide so you have a good idea of what it’s all about, and then take it in chunks. use samples first till you get the hang of flex machines - then tackle the sampler section at a later date etc.
don’t get bogged down with the difference between flex & static machines. just pick flex for the moment, id recommend, n then use static only if you run out of memory. (I never use statics personally. they’re useful if you’ve huge samples or need to conserve memory).
leave the midi section till a later date etc.
keep er simple :slight_smile:


I’m going to just reiterate what every one is saying, but I am having my morning tea, and this is a great thread.

  1. Identify your long term goals. Live Play? Dawless sequencing/Recording? Sampler? FX/Looper for the Modular? All? Start with the one most important to you and break it down to features.

for example:
Live Play - Sequencing, P-Locks/ trigs, Scenes, Parts, Patterns, Arranger.
Dawless recording/sequencing - Projects, banks, Sampling/ Sample management, Input recording, internal recording, Thru Machines & Neighbor machines, Master track, transferring audio, controlling other machines over midi, etc

  1. Each day pick a feature, learn that. Make a 1 minute track. There are a metric shit ton of great tutorial videos (mostly by folks on the site here). Find one or two that are going over the feature you want to use. Copy it. Like literally do what they are doing. Get used to where things are set up and working by following along and getting similar results.
  2. Start simple. Just the Octatrack. When performing I use it as a mixer/mangler for my 4 voice modular, but this a couple of points for failure, and an infinite amount of distraction. You want to learn the OT so make it your focus. You will hit a feature that may require extra gear, only add it when you need it.
  3. Consistent daily usage with a small achievable goal will give you the best velocity towards mastery. Which you have covered it looks like. Just stay consistent.

You will get confused and frustrated. Its normal. Come here and bitch/ask questions. Its a rite of passage. With way more links to videos than I could do justice. There is a goldmine of instructional data on the OT here, and unlike some forum software, the search works pretty well.

Also, if you don’t get an answer from @sezare56 do you really have an Octratrack? The answer is no.


That’s pretty much on point. Thank you (everybody) for taking the time.
Think I’ll start with the goal to arrange some songs dawless and then developing a live set.
Will definitely keep this thread updated. Not only to inform other octatrack newbies, also for reflecting my process.


Break your long term goal into components. What elements do you need for a dawless set? Will you need to learn the midi side of things or do you plan on playing with OT only?

I’m in a similar position to you having picked up the OT in November (second time owning one) but this time my goals are clear and it really helps. So for me, Midi was important so I learnt that thoroughly while also learning how to get 4 inputs live recording simultaneously. This led me to learn flex tracks and the recording buffers fully with record trigs etc. My next mission is to learn pickup machines for looping guitar/DN stuff.

TLDR - pick one element at a time, learn everything about it, add another element when you’ve nailed the last one :blush:


You forgot the most important part…
Have fun! Octatrack is a blast!




Everyone else really touched all the main points, so I don’t have much to add. Take it on in small chunks, don’t get too upset when you make a mistake, or lose a sample (or many!), It’s going to happen. One thing I did was setup a “playground” project, where I tried new things out. That way, if I screwed something up, it isn’t a big deal that ruins a working project.



A couple of weeks ago I recorded some pretty decent drum track from the Digitakt (10 mins long) into the Octatrack. Since I don’t like the whole 10 mins I got the idea to slice the long sample into shorter ones, so that I have something like: slice 1: Intro, slice 2: Drums1; slice 3: Bridge; slice 4: Drums2.
Watched some tutorials about the slicing progress, but they didn’t work for my purpose…
Always open for other ways to workaround my issue.
Any help is appreciated.


Yea “slicing” is more for taking a beat of just a bar or two and slicing it into individual steps. You probably learned quickly that this wasn’t going to suit your task.

I’m a bit rusty on the OT, so I can’t give you the exact step by step from memory on how to do this, but I’d simply make 4 total copies of the sample by using the Audio Editor : File : Save Sample Copy command (I think that’s right!?)
And then trim out the sections you want manually with the audio editor.

Record buffers are separate from tracks, they are always available to record, if you assign a track to a record buffer you need to save if you want the contents to remain after a power cycle, newcomers can easily lose buffers by recording over them inadvertently.

Learn all aspects of the AED it has lots of handy functions, like normalise, extract, fade, save selection as, rotate start position and more.

Learn all aspects of recording setup, many things can be done, like resampling internal tracks, sampling external sounds, a mix of internal and external, upto 8 recordings can be made at a time, realtime resampling and playback and so on.

Thanks for helping me out.
What a pity I need 3 tracks and not 1 …

True, but once trimmed, they’ll take up no more space than the 1 track, if they replace it on the CF card.

Be sure to use static slots for them!

There are probably other methods, and approaches. Perhaps other people will chime in.
There are always multiple ways to perform a function with the OT.

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Ideally, record 64 bars with QREC = pattern length = 1024 steps, apply 64 slices grid.

1 track is possible. You can use sample locks and put up to 64 different samples on 1 track of a pattern! For a long recording, you need Arranger.

Max recording time is 8m28s, if you have a workaround to record 10m, I’m interested!

Make slices is not difficult. Move the cursor with LEVEL knob, select the beginning of the slice, use ADD SLICE, select the end of the slice.

For a long recording, it can be annoying. In Attributes, write the correct tempo. In Slice page, you can see the number of bars of your selection. Not very precise, but you can adjust with the waveform.
You can also make a 64 bars selection in TRIM, go to SLICE and apply a 64 Slices grid. This way each slice is a bar long.
In a pattern, divide tempo by 2, use 1/8 scale, 64 steps. In slice page, apply Linear Locks : each step is a bar. Write bars you want to delete, or delete corresponding slices.

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Recorded the drumset via my audio interface…
So the next point on my list is the arranger Mode!
Thanks for taking me further on my journey.

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