Octatrack difficult beast

Wow this is nice but one difficultly, is pretty much all of it. I have tons of equipment; but
This hella different!
Im all over the place with it. Cuckoo has helped but still. I need something more in depth with this . Any tutorials on this mean machine?
Just finding samples are fucking ridiculous.


lots of are available: (just to name a few)

also MUST READ lecture:

happy reading / learning / producing :slight_smile:


absolutely check out these cats if you like weirder stuff


Max Marco is awesome. How to make awesome tracks just using gain noise.


Don’t get discouraged. After about a month a lot of things will become muscle memory.

That’s the beauty of Elektron gear. It really is like a physical instrument.

And then this video will make sense after you’ve done the Merlin’s guide and a few other tutorials:


If you learn everything and dont use it then you will quickly forget it. My advice it to learn one thing really well before even moving onto the next. This is common sense advice but flitting from video to video is not the way.


I had the octa for almost 1 year before understanding that double tapping track buttons (T1,T2 etc.) got me to the sample browser. The most basic info gets drowned out due to too much info on the more complex issues in octaland… Double tap track buttons for sample browser. Hold track button+edit to get to sample editor. Understanding those two things opened up the octa for me. It is all in the manual, but I never caught it admist all the other infoes…


Thanks you very much. Great stuff!!!

OT is a huge machine so don’t despair if something happens you dont understand :stuck_out_tongue: Getting the basics is a must!

I got mine in May 2019 and still experimenting and discovering but it is so much fun to explore.

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That’s solid advice.
On a new box I always work in the context of just writing a song/pattern, that way I find what I need to know to do what I need to do…ideas always start to flow for me from there on what else the box can do. YMMV.

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This is great advice!

Ask yourself what you want to do, and then figure out how to do that one thing. Then sit with it.

I’ve been doing this exercise at the end of every few sessions, where I create a new Project, with a new Part in a new Bank.
All from memory, I recreate how my live setup is configured.
And I try to think about it when I am not in front of the OT as well.
This is imprinting the setup (recorders, mixer machines, fx, trigs) in my memory quite well.

Bonus, it is helping me to better understand it all, which I can adapt to the next thing to “grock” on the OT.


Me too after 5 years. :content:


Have mine for about a month so im new to it.
But yeah learning 1 thing at a time makes more sense with this one. The manual has to be used here. Hate it but step by step

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You guys are great in here. Unlike other forums. Where no one answers!!!:+1::+1::+1:


Learning what you need is sage advice, for sure. Keeping in the back of your mind it can do these other things but no pressure to do them. Keep the manual handy.

Also I have found creating a kind of default template project helps things move along.


Max Marco (@defenestration) has got to be my absolute favourite demonstrator of the Octatrack.


I’ve been hovering around here reading Octatrack threads and rewatching loads of YouTube videos and teetering dangerously close to buying an OT. I’ve actually got the money to spare so I can actually afford it (for once) and I feel like it could be the best all-in-one groovebox option out there for me. I can’t quite decide if the complexity is going to be a frustration at the start or if it means it’ll keep me entertained for years. Maybe both. I think if I get the thing and then I still can’t slice and sequence a drum loop a week later I’ll probably be getting a bit annoyed. I reckon it can’t be that bad if you start simple and work up to the complex stuff. And read the manual.

I also can’t see any other boxes on the market that look capable of the “live” resampling, manipulation and trickery that this box appears to offer. The idea of starting with a simple pattern and resampling and glitching and building it up really appeals to me.


If you have other Elektron boxes I don’t think it’s that hard to figure out. If you’ve used other groove boxes like MPC or Maschine I don’t think it’s that hard figuring out either.

Octatrack is really flexible and can be used in a variety of applications. I think I personally like the straight forward workflow of Maschine for actually producing and then I’ll export the stems into Octatrack for mangling and arranging. And I end up producing some cool sounds and basically new songs with the loops I’ve mangled on Octatrack.

It’s a really dope box. I’m going on a gear purge right now realizing I’ve spent lots of money on toys I don’t need when I can do pretty much everything in my DAW or Maschine and I’m gonna sell my Digitakt and Digitone but Octatrack will stay with me forever. It offers something that my computer doesn’t.


Yeah, I understand how you feel. Others have covered it, with regards to just practice one thing at a time until you become familiar or comfortable with it. And it looks like people have covered some good sources for tutorials. I’d say just take a break if you feel like your frustrated at any point and come back to it later, and try not to bog yourself down on trying to figure out a bunch of things at once.

Maybe try to explore just what happens pressing various buttons, and the whole double tapping buttons/menu keys or function combos from the manual just for fun. And just think of it as learning a computer system. I think of myself as kind of roaming around in a musical RPG and each part is some separate dungeon or lair. It takes time to get familiar with enough of it especially if you’ve dove in fresh on Elektron’s approach/workflow.

I own and learned on the Digitakt for about a year and when I started learning sampling and setting up the static/flex machine’s to sample it was kind of a bear to get recording right for a bit, but I had other things down as there were many parts of the system that are the same on the DT, so when I’d have to surf various efx and track control’s to figure out when I had something set wrong and wasn’t getting the proper output, I’d just revert to doing what I was familiar with to just take a break before going back and trouble shooting and surfing the manual, merlin’s guide, video tutorials, and forums to get an answer. So just try to be patient and as other’s have said it will become like 2nd nature in time and it will totally be worth it.


I’ve found the resampling and general recording to be the most difficult to understand early on.

Getting samples in via CF card, sequencing them, adding FX, LFOs, using the arranger. All of that stuff is rather straightforward, and you can be making patterns in no time. In this regard it is a solid groove box.
And Parts are close enough to the Kits that MD/MM/A4/AR have, so not terribly difficult to understand.
Even slicing imported audio is rather easy thanks to the slice menu in the audio editor.

But recording… well there are so many ways to set it up based on what you want to accomplish, and that adds to the complexity.
You can record internally, or externally, with a recorder trig, or a different button combo, or a pickup machine… It’s a lot to digest. And that’s unfortunate because that capability really sets the OT apart from the rest.
And it spills out to make other things more complex than they would be without the recording facilities.
Like Parts, since you can switch Parts (Kits) with different machine assignments, there are some interesting tricks to exploit where recorders and part swapping exists. It’s a lot to grock.
The MK2 at least makes things a little more logical. But the MK1 is such a great value as well.

It took me a few phases of ownership to truly understand it all. And it does feel very rewarding once you get to that point. But it came after several frustrating moments. Even though I fully comprehend how it works now, I get tripped up from time to time. Just the other day I could not get sound to come out of my thru track. Input LEDs were firing, it was even recording. All parameters were fine. It was really doing my head in.
Only until I bumped the crossfader to reach around and swap output cables did I realize I just had the crossfader muting the track.
Yep. Dumb little moments like that still happen sometimes.