New member of the Elektron family: OT new user Questions


Thank you this is very helpful. I have a follow up question:

When I enter the recording menu, it does not let me select and de-select trigs on the OT, why? I set machines to use FLEX mode for time being until I can get sample recordings at this stage to avoid making life any more difficult.

BUT when I go to record while still in the REC1 setup menu, the square changes to a Plus sign for T1. At this point the OT goes crazy and flashes the bottom trig lights up like a Christmas tree in red, green and yellow flashing. I select T1 then deselect it. I select T1 on the sample/MIDI trig then deselect it. I stop the recording yet nothing gets sampled, ugh!

Here is what I have:

Ok time to eat some food and take a break the return to the manuals.


Yeah if I cannot get it working then I will unfortunately have to send it back to Sweetwater for a refund :frowning:
It also does not help that Elektron has been lazy in not updating their video tutorials for the new OT MKII. They are too focused on Digitakt right now based on the videos. Are they even trying to sell Octatracks? Based on the ancient videos and archaic documentation it looks like they don’t really care about their user base who wants to buy and use it!

Funny the Analog 4 is not bad at all to learn. It was a bit tricky at first but now I can jam with it. I will keep my Analog 4 because it stores the tracks I built and plays well with modular gear.


Load new project…
Have the volca attached to AB inputs

Do absolutely nothing but the following in order, no exceptions…

With Unit Stopped

  1. Go to track one by pressing its track button
    1A. Press func+src to select machine and select flex, press yes to confirm
    1B. Press the right arrow to enter the sample slot list
    1C. Scroll all the way up until “Recording1” is highlighted
    1D. Press yes to load the recording1 buffer to the machine
    1E. Exit that menu with exit no, so you are looking at the basic src page again and not machine or sample select

  2. Press the Rec button that is next to the play button so it is constantly lit which means your grid recording mode.
    2A. Place a trig on step one by pressing trig one so it is red

  3. Press func+Rec1 to enter recording setup1
    3A. Set inab to A B, Rlen to 16

  4. Press func+Rec2 to enter recording setup 2
    4A. Set fin and fout to the lowest non zero value

  5. While leaving the recorder menu open place a trig on step 1 by pressing it, this is the recorder track of track 1
    5A. Turn the recorder trig to a one-shot by pressing func+the trig

  6. Press no/exit to leave the recorder setup and recorder track one

Now, press play and quickly make sounds on your volca, the OT will record a 16 step sample during the first 16 steps and begin looping it…

Once you have this working you can figure out either transport/clock send to the volca to start its sequencer in time with OT, or you can figure out how to set up a midi track on OT to send notes to the volca…

Since this is using a one shot recorder the recording will only happen once if the one shot is armed, to arm again you can press yes while not in grid recording(rec button unlit), or double stop the OT… There’s more options for one-shot arming and many other ways to sample but that’s for later… Good luck!

I can’t possibly put in any more time and effort to get you going unless you put in more time and effort and are willing to do so, in which case I will. If this frustrates you I highly encourage sending the unit back and getting something else… Good luck though, chin up!


I have had an OTMKII for 5 months and I learned how to use it from these “archaic” videos. Literally the only difference is a few additional buttons. You seem to not understand the different between machines, which is rudimentary. For example, you should be using flex machines to play back sound from buffers. It’s been said a million times here: The Octatrack is an insanely deep machine with quirky workflows. You have to take a lot of time with it and build your understanding slowly. If you don’t understand the difference between machines you’re off to the wrong start.


I missed on yes button press after highlighting flex to confirm machine selection and edited the post, I’m scanning to make sure I didn’t miss anything else, if so you’ll see another an edit “2” on the post…
Also missed exit out of machine/sample select, edited…

I don’t have a Mk2 so I consulted the manual to get your proper button presses, I think everything’s right. I’m pretty sure the colors are the same but if things light up a different color don’t worry about it…

If anybody actually has a MK2 and can work it, if you could please scan and make sure I didn’t miss anything. I did this from memory and by looking at Mk2 manual, but one missing button press could mess everything up… :joy:


Maybe try simple things first then ? At least that is how I chose to approach it and I don’t regret it.

After reading Merlin’s guide completely before the first boot, even though I have other Elektron gear that could be easily integrated with the OT, I chose not to connect it to anything at first. Using it in isolation, with only factory samples and an empty project aimed at messing around (actually called it “Hello OT”), I then gave myself challenges. Starting with simple things like “today is about the learning how to slice samples, including having the same sample twice in the project but with different slice settings”, eventually moving to “I want to make a drum loop sample out of resampling a few internal tracks”, each time more complex.

I’m only just starting to make use of the crossfader (even though now that I use it more, I realize it’s going to be sweeeet), that’s how slow I want to take my OT journey. But I enjoy the journey itself, because each step I take, I discover new ways to use my new friend. Being pressed by time isn’t ideal to get to know such a wild animal.

Careful reading of the official manual and Merlin’s guide allowed me to make my own sort of cheat sheet, and when I finally integrated other gear or more complex routings, finding my way around wasn’t an issue anymore. Eventually, I got rid of the notes, made new ones, tossed those too and now I’m flying solo :slight_smile:

As you said yourself, it’s one complex piece of hardware, practicing on it often for muscle memory helps a bit, but I’d say that not only does it require a commitment to really shine, but not committing to learning it probably is a one way road to frustration, precisely because of it’s depth and complexity. Hang in there, it’s worth it !


I just stared at mine funny for the first week as I learned the AR, got em both at the same time. Very fortunate at that point in my life to be able to grab two units, but also a lot to learn…

When I first turned it on it took a bunch of back and forth from the manual to be able to make a sound… :joy:
At this point for me it’s super easy to do really complex stuff, far, far from that in the beginning…

I’m a musician musician… It certainly took much more practice and time to get good at guitar, I consider the OT another instrument. It literally takes years to master it. I have not yet mastered it, and it’s been years… I understand it completely though just got to spend more time programming things and really squeezing the most out of it, and I’m constantly improving the muscle memory to do things faster… I don’t practice enough. For me I might go at it for a month or so but then not use it for a month, same with guitar. Just gotta get myself to stay on it…


I am gonna give it another college try before sending it back for a refund. I have 20 days to return it so figure why not see if I can at least get a basic sample recorded and playback.


We all had to go through this, maybe some with a bunch of previous Elektron experience found it much easier off the bat, if they already knew MachineDrum and MnM or had been using groove boxes for many years…

I want you to like it and get good at it, but honestly this thread kinda makes me think it’s not for you… And there’s nothing wrong with that, the OT is an acquired taste and certainly not for everyone, no right or wrong in if you stick with it or not…
Maybe though, I won’t give up hope until I see if you can sample from my instructions…


Don’t give up. I had THREE OT’s…about to get the mk2…I sit at night in bed and think about many things:

  1. Awful work stuff
  2. Family stuff
  3. Woes of using a soulless computer for music
  4. Alcoholism
  5. Why I sold the OT
  6. How I can afford the OT again

Do yourself a favor and get Thavius Beck’s OT tutorials ($15)…it made me realize that I’m a fool for not immersing myself in the language of OT.
Remember: OT is indeed a bitch, but she/he WILL repay you for the weeks of…um…yeah you being her/his bitch.
Elektron doesn’t need to redo their tutorials for MK2, as it’s really the same INSTRUMENT.
Thavius does an awesome job of laying out her/his (OT) processes to do the basic things.
It DOES take a lil bit to realize his/her strengths reside in the willingness you have to learn his/her strange idiosyncratic behaviors.
You’ll be thinking about him/her… then will, out of the blue, realize that he/she is your soulmate…now I’m lost without her…must do ANYTHING to have her back in my life…

Kill me.
Or trade me an OT for ableton push 2 plus cash…

Btw…cue outputs to a chain of your old guitar pedals, back into OT as a thru machine!!! OMG! I’d LOVE a video from Elektron HQ with the Tesla-like original engineers and their reasoning behind the creation of this beautiful BITCH (him or her…the OT, that is…).
Don’t send it back
“Don’t give upppppp”-PG featuring KB.
Love you. Love OT.


Hi @Open_Mike

Thank you for the detailed steps. Had some issues getting to work on the Volca. So I tried on the A4 with better results.

Ok, I followed that as best as possible and recorded to T1 in Recorder 1 per the information. I hit playback on the A4 and went into the settings. I saw the change from stop to record plus sign!

Here is what I did:

Now I need to see if I can save the sample file to the card and play back. Regarding trigs is there a way to record a sample by playing the trigs like a keyboard? I also want to record samples for looping purposes and longer playback than just 1-2 seconds. How would I do this with Flex machine or do I need to use Static machine?

I do this on my A4 and it works great. I tried to save the sample file and assign it for playback but get a weird error message per the below screen shots.

I used the Slice Grid menu to see if I could save the sample to the card for future playback.

I guess my follow up questions are:

  1. How would I enable on the fly sampling/recording with ability to play the keyboard on the OT say I have a Volca keys or Make Noise 0-coast synth for this?

  2. How do I save and playback the sample for future consumption after turning off the synth and OT? I can see the saved file after I choose Slice Grid menu and then choose the Save and Assign Sample and give it a name BUT the confusing part is what to call it. The options Assign to Self, Assign to Free Flex and Assign to Free Static. Either case when I assign it to slots 1 or 2 is shows an error message.


or just send it back and get an easier sampler/sequencer like Korg SQ-1 and modular system and route to USB/MIDI and record into my DAW for future playback? I will see what else I can figure out from the manuals. At least I can get sound from the OT now and sort of record a sample even with the weird error messages.


Sorry buddy, I watched 10 seconds of your video and it’s obvious you didn’t folow the instructions that I spent like 20 or more minutes cross referencing with the MK2 manual to make sure it works…

These were the first instructions:

If you follow them exactly I’ll help you more, but if you don’t I can’t help you. At this point I’m out, I already told you that too:

And then your diving in asking extremely complicated things, I don’t even know what to say…
Honestly I wish you the best, I love all people as equal and you the same, but this is too much for me…
Cheers and blessings…


@Open_Mike the reason I went back to sample from my A4 was that the Volca was not working with the OT for some reason. I did manage to actually record a sample finally from the A4:

So I will see what else I can figure out before I completely give up on the OT!
Thank you for trying to help me figure this confusing darn thing out. Maybe I can find one of the electronic wizards here in San Diego to mentor me on it. Lot of guys I know in the meetup have OT so they might help me fix my confusion points.

Last week one smart guy at a local jam session helped me figure out how to record on the A4 and now I am jamming well on that box.



I already have a Push :slight_smile:
It was way easier to learn as well as Ableton but then again there are free classes on these things.

I will give it some more time before I throw my hands up in complete frustration and send it back for a refund. Maybe the Elektron guys can help me figure this out.


How do you sit in bed at night thinking about things when Alcoholism is on the list?

Usually when I drink heavily, I have no problem passing right out! :cocktail: :sleeping:


I’m a super friendly person and willing to help, more so than most people really…
If you go back and follow those instructions step by step on a new project doing absolutely nothing but what I said, I may help you more.

It’s OK if you want to replace the volca with the A4, but for me personally at this point in order for me to help you more, I would need to see that you followed my instructions exactly, otherwise it’s simply not worth my time and effort, there’s other things I could be doing… It starts on a new project, not one full of flex machines and multiple recorder setups as I saw in your video.

If I was in the same room as you I’d have you going lickety split…

I’m super friendly, if you do that I might help more. But it won’t really help you more for me to help you at this time, you’ll need to show more discipline and effort…

Again, wish you the best. Having trouble helping someone with tech issues doesn’t make me not like them, it just is what it is. All of this has been written on the forum by me personally before, and many others, available through the search function, or again from the manual sections, manual tutorials, or the plethora of videos available. Even Elektron has official help videos on YouTube for all of this, straight from the horses mouth, they are indeed the same for mk1 and mk2 just a few different button combos that you can reference from the mk2 manual, just as I did to write the step be step instructions which I went the extra mile by writing out…

Again wish you the best and your fine with me as a person and I hope you have a beautiful day…


In case you believe in Astrology, Mercury goes direct on April 15 at 9:21 am UTC*, in Aries (4o 47")…

You may have better luck then! :monkey::sparkles: :joy:


Maybe look into something like an SP-555? I had one for years and it’s awesome and easy to use. Just a thought. You could buy like 4 of them for the price of an OT.


OK, I’m helplessly forgiving so I watched that first video…

It seems your combining different peoples suggestions so it’s a bit confusing as I said, I don’t know what you’ve done previously to the point where the video started… In many cases that’s not necessary but when there’s a lot of confusion involved it helps to know exactly everything that has been done.

You did record a sample and unless you had the mixer dir up for AB, you were actually playing it back in real time as it was recording and then it looped…

You didn’t use the one shot method so you had to remove the trig, this is not necessary with a one shot (or manual sampling or pickup sampling, the other methods). One shot is explained in my previous instructions.

The qpl and qrec are for manual sampling and pickup sampling so no need to use them for this method. The lights lighting up when you pressed the recorder trig are your input recording selection for that trig. Since only AB was used and you had made no CD or Src3 settings all of them lit up meaning it was enabled for all of them which is OK since only AB had a setting and the others were blank.

There’s no need to set the mode (one/one2/hold) because that’s for manual sampling.

The triangle pointer running across the bottom of the bar in the recorder setup showed that it was playing, and the play triangle on flex1. When you put in the recorder trig you could see the triangle pointer run across the top which means it was recording, and there was one at the bottom too which means it was playing back the sample at the same time…

There’s no need to go into the list and press func+play to hear the sample, it was playing on the flex track and that’s how you were hearing it. Again unless you had gone into the mixer and turned up dir for AB, what you were hearing the entire time was the sample from the OT. You will hear it as its recording and then you’ll still hear it after you remove the recorder trig to stop recording… That is because you assigned recorder buffer one to the flex machine so it will play the samples captured from recorder 1.

You were hearing the recording played from ram but if you really wanted to save it you’d use “save and assign to free flex”, give it a name, and then on that track or another track you’d go to the sample list again like you did to set to recording1, and find the name you choose in the flex sample list and highlight and press enter…

Again that’s only if you want the sample permanently saved as part of the project. The sample buffers (recording1 in this case) will remain until you power off as you are accessing the recording in ram…

Some progress was made and you definitely recorded a sample and had it playing back on the flex track, and I believe you were monitoring the recording in real time.