Moving on to an Octatrack MKII from a Digitakt

Hey elektronauts,

I currently own a Digitakt and I would like to keep things as dawless as possible, but running into a few limitations. Mainly time stretch/warping, and a big plus would be the ability to take advantage of song mode. I do find find Overbridge very useful for post stuff, too bad it’s not available for Octrack, but that’s fine.

Anyway, I have a few questions in regards to the switch to Octatrack MKII. Pardon me if some of the questions might sound silly.

I imagine there’s no plan for Overbridge and Octatrack, correct? Stupid question before I splurge 1300… Octatrack MK3 in the works?

Lastly, I’m debating on a multitrack recorder. I’ve had my eyes set on the Zoom R series. Anyone have experience with them? Does the livetrak series make more sense? Or are there any other multitrack records you could recommend?

Thanks all!

The OT is much more powerful but comes with a learning curve, but having used another Elektron first should take the sting out of it. I doubt there’s an OT 3 coming any time soon, and would probably make more sense to make an expanded Digitakt when you think about it from an Overbridge point of view.

I’ve looked into Multitrack recorders in the past but the main issue is lack of Midi Sync, make sure it has Midi Ports and that ability if you care about that. You have to go to older models to find that afaik. In the end I just use either Bitwig or Cubase for it these days, plus it means you save physical audio inputs because of Overbridge as well as getting track separation on OB enabled boxes. If you have a computer I don’t think there’s much to gain from hardware recorders these days really, even though I do like the idea.

Correct. It’s a hardware limitation. The USB connection on the OT is only wired to access the CF card as external disk drive. Not even MIDI-over-USB is available on the OT.

Not the slightest sign visible anywhere. The simpler machines seems to be more profitable than the big boxes (and easier to develop, of course). So I guess that’s the way Elektron will progress.

3 Likes

Don’t worry about the OT’s lack of overbridge. You can still easily do post work, you just need to spend a little time recording your material to your daw. :slight_smile:
And if you’re looking to go dawless, I don’t see how just a digitakt could work. The OT makes it possible, though you’ll still need to mixdown in daw if you want things sounding professional.
Hope you take the jump!

1 Like

That’s great news to hear! I’m definitely going for it!

1 Like

Yeah, i thought about that part too, and wasn’t sure if there were any around. But I guess I could always multitrack in a daw, like you mentioned. Just liked the idea of being away from the computer as much as possible.

Thanks for clarifying that.

Or record loops / premixes / mix with OT’s internal recording, copy files to DAW after.

4 Likes

Yea, this would be perfectly doable as well :slight_smile:

1 Like

I’ve been using the Octatrack as a multitrack recorder for my guitar, and it works great. It’s a pain to arrange music in it though. So much easier to drag clips on a DAW timeline.

So that’s what I do. I record into the Octatrack, and transfer the recordings to a computer via usb.

1 Like

I agree! But I think people who really go deep into the OT workflow will be able to create similar results in a similar amount of time with the arranger once getting used to organizing your patterns, scenes, and parts. You also can begin building a concrete live set out of investing your time in this.

I think the “visualness” of arranging a tune in a daw is much faster when it comes down to fine tuning things, and of course, you can’t really get quite the level of mixdown quality in the OT. At least in my opinion. So I too am now bouncing out my ideas and tracks to expand upon in my daw.

Since the original poster was interested in going mostly dawless, the OT should work quite well for him I think :slight_smile:

1 Like

I made the same move from DT to OT two weeks ago. If you read Merlin’s guide (takes like two hours) then you’ll quickly understand some of the conceptual differences, and from then on you’ll be able to get started and get things done. To me it didn’t really feel like such a big jump, as the sequencer works more or less the same (ok, trig conditions are in a weird place, but hey, whatever). The big advantage however is that, from that moment on, the OT has a mountain of features and possibilities still to be discovered, where the DT pretty much is what it is, as soon as you figure it out.

To me it feels like a much more capable workstation for working dawless than the DT. And the crossfader is easy to work with and will be very handy for live play. Not to mention, if you’re setup is small you won’t need a separate mixer. And it does looping. And slicing. And can playback longer samples straight from the CF-card. And it’s stereo. And it’s much easier to backup your projects (not unimportant!). I’ll stop here, I don’t wanna sound like I’m advertising the thing :slight_smile:

I haven’t tried the arrangement mode yet cause I don’t plan to use it (I rather record live-performances). But in that area a DAW is obviously much more flexible.

6 Likes

Thanks for the advice. Just downloaded it the other day.

OT should be coming in on Friday, can’t wait!

4 Likes

You’ll love it I’m sure. It was years ago but remember an early source of frustration for me was the Function/Bank pages which holds settings for the tracks such as individual scales/swing. It has different options depending on whether record is enabled or not. It took me a while to force that into my memory. It may have changed on mkii if that’s what you are getting, but thought I’d mention it.

1 Like

Congrats!
Read the manual, and merlins guide while you wait! And then read them again after you’ve spent a little time with it, because they begin to make more sense after some hands on experience

1 Like

BTW
Not sure if it really matters but there is a “polished” version of the merlin’s guide here. I thought it was a little better

1 Like

I thought it was a little better

Thanks :wink:

I just got an Octatrack (MK1) a few weeks ago, after having the DT for 2 years.
It is a worthy step up. The extra inputs/outputs and wider range of FX make a big difference for me, even more than timestretch and stereo.

It’s definitely an advantage already being used to the Elektron sequencer. You just have to learn about Parts and Scenes, and the rest is pretty familiar.

The only downside I’ve found is that it takes more effort to get a nice mix on the OT, and it’s harder to get crisp, rich bass sounds for some reason. Certainly possible though. Gain staging certainly takes a bit of thought, as the numerous threads on the topic attest.

4 Likes

Sold my DT a few months after getting an OT, though they make a fine duo. Sold mine to help fund an A4mkii, which for me is a much better duo. OT is still my favorite hardware device for countless reasons :slight_smile:

4 Likes