M:S and Octachainer - Great combo

I’ve very recently bought a Samples and I was dreading the thought of renaming samples, converting, housekeeping, workflow testing etc that I’ve had to do with all the other gear I’ve bought over the years. A bit of searching on here led me to OctaChainer which has been an absolute revelation. It is such a great utility and it’s a perfect match for the Samples where, for me at least, it’s all about simplicity.

I’ve created various chains of x120 drum hits which I have loaded to the first three tracks a default template making it effortless to get patterns built really quickly. Much more efficient and inspiring to use chains than trawling through one-shots for commonly used sounds. So, if you’re new to the Samples and haven’t considered chains then take a look at page in the link above. And Kai @Abhoth, if you visit this forum still then please send me an PM as I’d like to send you some cash!

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Hi there. I’ve been trying to create sample chains for my M:S and I think I must be doing something wrong because it isn’t working. I’ve tried 2 different methods and I expect to get a new sound (drum hit) with each increment of the sample start knob but it doesn’t work.

First time I loaded 120 samples into Bitwig sampler and then triggered each one with a 1/4 note over 30 bars. 30 x 4 = 120 hits in the chain, then I bounced that file down.

Second time, after I found this post, I tried creating a chain with 120 samples in Octachainer and I get the same odd results - each increment of sample start isn’t finding the start of a new samples but going into the middle of a single hit. I also suspect that something else weird is going on because even if I scroll right towards the end of sample start I’m still in the middle of my kick drums and I haven’t even reached the remaining part of the chain with hats, snares, claps etc.

If anyone has any idea what I might be doing wrong I’d really appreciate the help!

Right, so here’s an interesting thing that might be a bug…

I’ve just tried a load of different sample chains that should have all been fine (all 120 equal-sized parts) and I was having inconsistent behaviour and nothing that worked properly. Then I realised that when I was loading the chains (within the M:S, not onto it) the sample start and length were not at default values of 0 and 120.

So I then reset the start and length controls both back to these defaults and tried reloading one of the chains - and it now works as expected. I then moved the length to 1 and now when I increment the sample start I get each individual sample in the chain triggering exactly as I would expect.

I’ll report bug this to support - I can only assume that the settings for start and length shouldn’t affect the behaviour of loaded samples.

EDIT - I tried again and had inconsistent behaviour, but it looks like if you exit back out of the sample load menu (hit back a few times) before you start to tweak the sample start and length etc then it works fine. When I changed these values whilst still inside the sample load menu, it misbehaved.

Agree that sample chains are very useful, but it’s such a shame that Elektron’s implementation is so limited -120 units is unnecessarily long and awkwardly divided. By contrast Ableton offers their ‘Simpler’ users a complete range of subdivisions from 2 to 64, including much more musically relevant subdivisions such as: 4,8,16,32. Most rhythmic ‘breaks’ naturally fit into these kinds of eighth and sixteenth subdivisions. However 120/16 is a numerically awkward fit that Elektron’s use of 120 units forces on users. This could be so easily implemented as a user setting and would use zero system resources.

My process is simple and works everytime:

Use OctaChain to create a chain with 120 samples using the equal length tab, setting the sample rate and bit depth to 48k 16 bit mono.
Making sure raw samples are les than 150KB so that the resulting chain isn’t huge.
Transfer to MS.
New Project
Select sample from +drive
Adjust Start. Adjust Decay. Leave Lenth alone.

I’ve had zero problems so far. Maybe try this approach.

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That all makes sense except for the part about the decay. If you leave the length at 120 but reduce decay then you’re basically playing the whole length of the long chain sample but using the decay envelope to cut off the volume. If you use length 1 then it’ll play exactly 1 “slice”. I can certainly see that your method would work but it might affect the sound a bit. By using the length as 1 you can then use the decay to shape the sound a little bit but be sure that the longer sample (multiple slices) don’t play.

I only say this because I can imagine a scenario where you adjust the decay (maybe with p-locks or whatever) and then additional slices play by accident. This won’t ever happen if you set the length to 1. Anyway, it’s all good that this technique works one way or another and I think it’s going to be a lot easier than using the tiny screen to browse or try to use sample locks when I’m jamming.

Thanks for the help!

I’ve just tried it with sample length of 1 instead of 120 and it works fine for me on all of my chains. In fact it’s a much better method as you’re correct as you get more control. I’m glad I posted… Cheers!

Hope you find a good workflow.

Edit
Ok, so after a bit of testing I’ve found that 60 samples per chain is working for me. I found with 120 per chain the filesize was limiting my sample lock capabilities for vocals and long samples. 60 per chain means is not as fluid when selecting sample start but still well worth it for ease of use.