Making Ambient on Octatrack MKII


Hey, thanks! No, these were live recorded into Ableton, where I might have adjusted volume a bit before exporting to wav, but no other post-processing or anything.


Very nice indeed!


Great stuff! My favorite is R05


Great, very inspiring!


That’s great, glad it’s got some love too!


oh dang that’s awesome! I’d seen he was offering lessons/courses, how has the experience been so far? He’s one of my absolute favorite musicians. Ovalprocess/Ovalcommers have been hugely inspirational for me as well.


It was great, actually. We’ve had 5 sessions over Skype, and it was really interesting. Now, the point of taking this course for me in the first place was not to get some technical tips and tricks from the man, but to get some insight about “searching your own sound”-kind of matters.

We started with quite an extended interview about me and my music endeavours, took me a couple of days to answer all the questions, got me thinking hard about all this stuff, because honestly, I never did think about things like “what’s my music philosophy” or “what’s my music mission”, etc.

Then over each session we discussed some of my music, my creative approach, how I did this and that, what kind of sound I strive for and what does that mean in practice, how can I achieve that, etc. After each session he’d give a music assignment to me as a couple of challenges, then over then next week I’d send him what I had come up with, he’d give some short feedback, etc., and on the next session we’d discuss how I did, and what’s the next step.

We also talked a lot about what listeners want from music these days, about importance of musician public image and persona, about music promotion and business side of music in general.
Final (5th) bonus session was dedicated to me asking him all sorts of questions.

All in all, i’ve received a great deal of info on the matters I was personally interested in, so no regrets on my side, obviously. You can choose what you want him help you with, and he’d work with you on that.


R8 for the dub win!
Great sounds mang!

I have limited myself to making drum sequences on the Rytm, bass and drone sequences on the Digitakt, then use the Digitone for live chords and pad sounds in the moment.


Recorded something new over the weekend. OT only.


Great stuff. When you brought up Oval it rang a bell, but I had to Google… I realized I owned one of these albums almost 20 years ago and was really really fond of it… I believe it was Ovalprocess.

I’m participating in the Octatrack Science Lab as a way of learning the beast. I bought it six months ago as a kind of studio hub but got distracted by all the new Mutable Instruments stuff…

So, if you wouldn’t mind, please indulge us! I’d like to hear more about your workflow on the Octatrack and what kinds of transformations you’re applying to your samples. You have a painterly approach to the machine, it’s very unique.


Hey, thanks!

This Octatrack Science Lab thing sounds almost exactly like what I’ve been doing since buying OT in last, uh, May, I believe. 10/10, would recommend :smiley:

Okay, so from a pure technical standpoint there’s not much (new) I can tell you, in the end it all comes down to sample slicing and time-stretching, then throwing in FX as you see fit. I randomly pick some music, cut a short sample from it, slice it, stretch it, play around, p-locks everywhere, get some pattern going. Then add another track, maybe even using the same sample, repeat the process, etc. Pretty vanilla stuff.

If after two or three hours the track isn’t working, I just clear everything and start over. I don’t cling to initial ideas, even if they sound nice by themselves. If the track isn’t working, I don’t think twice throwing everything out. Oftentimes initial ideas morph into something completely different, but that’s normal with OT, I guess.

I think what really matters is the mindset or whatever it is. I don’t think much about current track in the works, I don’t overanalyze it. I think to me it’s like pottery now - take some raw material and start making something out if it. Sometimes it turns out ugly and has to be destroyed and redone, and that’s fine. I don’t plan ahead, just throw stuff in, mangle it, listen to it, fix it or throw it out. There are lots of accidental moments in music, and you can’t force them to appear, you just try stuff and listen carefully to spot something good. You also can’t fix everything so there always will be slip ups and errors, and that’s fine by me, too.

Also, and I’m not sure if it’s worth even mentioning it, but I’ve kinda had to unlearn my old ways of making music, thinking in notes and harmonies, melodies and basslines, making sure that everything is in key, in sync with bpm, etc. It’s all just… sound waves now, any value of any setting might be used and should be tried. Trust your ear and nothing else :slight_smile:


And there we have our Octanaut Science Lab manifesto, well said!


I dig this, a lot.


I like that pottery analogy


New track R09 is great as well!
Your stuff should be out on Editions Mego or something


Oh well, long gone are the days of wishing to get signed, but yeah, I guess that’d be cool :slight_smile:


OT MKII is so much better for ambient.



Genuine question. I haven’t used a mk2. But ‘so’ much better would imply something really significant between mk1 & 2? I was under the impression that if someone learned the mk1 combo shortcuts they were basically the same machine?


ditto @Skippit why indeed?


C’mon guys. It’s a joke cause of the title.