Mastering the Octatrack ass backwards

So I’ve had my OT since 2015 and I’m pretty decent at it I fully understand all the basics and even have it all down to simple muscle memory but I am far from having mastered it.
I learn things with music gear ass backwards I have ADHD so generally when I have new gear I play with it and explore and experiment until I hit a wall where I absolutely can’t figure something out then I read the manual, usually I’ll learn a new synth or drum machine front to back through experience then I’ll read the manual just to pick up anything I missed and that works for me 99% of the time but obviously the Octatrack is an entirely different beast.

I’m at a point with the OT where I’m very comfortable with pretty much most tasks especially all the basic and expected things but I know it’s capable of a lot more and I’d like to get to the point of mastering it or at the very least realizing more of its potential.
I’m looking for advice for learning material on
the more advanced techniques and tricks with the OT. I have over the years sat down with the manual and have gone through it with the OT at while reading it and, I plan on doing that again to learn in particular about what the deal is with using different ‘parts’ but beyond the manual what are some good resources for digging into the OT be it videos or additional reading what are your recommendations?


I haven’t looked at the manual since I first owned an OT years ago. Just started with one again, and haven’t bothered to download it.

Messydesk and ezbot on YouTube. They have some amazing content, most of which wasn’t available last time I tried the OT. The difference that content has made is incredible to my OT development. Highly, highly recommend.


Spend some time looking for tricks on this forum. You should find some interesting ideas…
In particular, @sezare56 realized a number of crazy ideas.

And also: do you master the transition trick?


Max Marco is obligatory when talking OT tutorials on YT.


Absolutely: when it comes to approaching the Octatrack from left-field, Max’s stuff is just incredible.
Think I started with the filter and comb filter pinging walkthroughs and went from there - really inspiring.


Hey there,

This might be too basic for you, but have you seen this 3rd party manual for the Octatrack? I bought it a few weeks ago, and it really cleared things up for me which the Elektron manual could not. Reading it has made life much easier for me, I can follow along with the more advanced YT videos as a result of it.

Good luck in your search,


Max, his videos explain so much and his creativity with the octa is boundless.
Best tutorials by a long shot.


There is a great thread about using a whole project to do many things seamlessly, where each bank has a certain function i.e. bank a is a drum loop generator which you sample from to bring the loop into another bank or part reducing it to one track to build on. This approach to me, once fully realized, is very much octa mastery. I think it was “making the most of a project”?

^^this thread


470 pages, lol

I enjoyed reading that thread - as a non OT owner it meant nothing to me… but i does kind of put me off getting one! It sort of implies that you need to be organised to use it properly. In music making organised is something I am not.

Not really. You need to be organized in the same way as you need to be organized enough to plug your gear in properly to get sound out. Or like you need to know how to set up a DAW session if you want to record.

It has a ton of features and you need to know it well enough to decide what you want to do with it, then set it up accordingly for that session. After that, it’s set up and you’re ready to go and just mangle the shit out of everything if you so wish. You can always return to a saved state very easily. It’s actually very good for people who are not organized since you can always undo everything and go back to where you started, or a “quicksave” somewhere along the way.

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thanks for sharing this one - love the methodology demonstrated by OP


Agreed. I am not organised but have an idea what I’m looking for. I rarely ie never use more than one pattern, have thru machines for my guitar looper, send from mixer to sample my gear and see what happens. Also rarely save samples. Just record a jam and edit from there.

I use One part and Bank D as a drum machine, one Part and bank C to capture melody loops with a single drum loop to write to, and another Part and Bank A to assemble a song. Then I have one spare part and bank to use as needed for change ups or anything else. Figured that all out in my first few days. I still need to learn scenes. I’m odd in that parts just make sense to me, but scenes I struggle with a bit.

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if you haven’t read this guide you should:

I wouldn’t call it advanced but you can spend a lot of time on the OT and not understand some of the workflow options.

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in my personal opinion, what helped get deeper (and fall in love with it) was to make a full set on it without midi’ing in other gear, utilizing banks, parts and many scenes to make a cohesive set with many different songs and smooth transitions, and the ability to do lots of improvisation. when I tried to use it with a lot of other gear and use the OT’s midi sequencer, I didn’t have any incentive to really delve deep into what the OT can do. it’s strong suit is samples so creating in audio rather than midi helped me (for my use case)



i c what u did there

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