Octatrack FX kick ass


Yes and the context is “YouTube demo video.” Once you start putting actual music (fast synths and drums, say) into something, your “high-end” reverb is a liability.

I am really passionate about older or supposedly “lower-end” reverbs precisely because the modulations are less obfuscated. With a monophonic synthesizer through a LPG or nice VCA for example, the modulation can almost create a polyphonic illusion… Your synth sounds massive and you can’t figure out why.




I’d wholeheartedly agree with the Adam Neely recommendation… so many interesting ideas and concepts that can be widely applied to all manner of situations. Even his gig vlogs I find interesting as it’s a world I don’t exist in. Rick Beato knows his stuff too although I’ve got a personal gripe about his “what makes this song” great videos… the few I’ve watched explain how the songs function etc but there is a never a why they’re great. Which is the missing piece for me in why you make harmonic/melodic/whatever decision in your own compositions.


Think of it more as “what makes this song great to me.” Everyone can have opinions on why they’re in love with a song…Depending on the song, he might prioritize the production/the way a guitar sounds, or he might prioritize a guitar solo (Steely Dan – Kid Charlemagne) whatever it is that he thinks makes the song great. For others it might be a lyric, a certain structure, a harmonic idea, an arrangement choice, all of the above… I don’t have a problem with it

…Other than the fact that I wanted to do that idea for a long time and he beat me to it :stuck_out_tongue:

got that one out at some point at least


Sure, I get that. And there is always so much subjectivity to it but I was kind of hoping that he would be explaining that for song X it uses, say for example, a certain chord progression, and then for many people they associate that with feeling Y but also some people might have revulsion Z to that progression because of reasons.

An example of what I was hoping for was a David Bowie documentary (whose name escapes me) where Rick Wakeman was sat at the piano playing the chords for Life On Mars… he demonstrates that the progression would normally resolve in a certain way, but Dave resolved in a different way that was equally satisfying but usurped expectation which makes it more memorable. And he was playing examples of both.

Wow, my handle on theory is a bit of a shambles.


Oh I just remembered who rick beato is, it’s the guy who trained his kid to have perfect pitch from a baby. It’s absolutely insane, he can pick out the notes from any cluster you play simultaneously, it’s amazing. I recommend checking the videos out of you haven’t already seen it


I get what you mean. He’s big into harmony so he’ll certainly talk about it sometimes, but other songs he may just have another focus.

Also while we’re discussing it I’ll promote this post I made some time back


Lo-fi is great although not a “daily driver” for me, but the SRR works particularly nice with a resonant filter either before or after, you can get some very nice textures even speech like stuff. Also the AM can work very nice on certain sounds, at its most basic it can do tremelo type things, but IMHO it is more fun at faster rates, works nice on hihats and cymbals when speed is modulated, also good for robotic voice fx or general ring mod style sounds.

The compressor can really be handy too, I often use it to resample kick drums, same for the EQ.

The filter is the star of the show IMHO it has a lot of depth and configuration options and just always sounds great.

Dark reverb, comb filter and delay also get lots of use here, chorus, phaser and spatializer I mainly use on pads or hihats, mostly.


Yes indeed the OT fx are ace!
The filter is excellent, reverbs are super tweakable and sound great, chorus is amazing, basically run any analogue synth through the OT chorus and reverb and it sounds incredible.
I dont tend to use the flanger/phaser.
As for the lofi. I use the filter distortion when I want distortion, but, assigning LFOs to the lofi AMF and AMD yeild some really interesting results on drumloops if the AMF is set to a high value.
I also use that trick to add weird harmonics with the cross fader to like a bass drone or texture.

For me it is all about using minimal sound sources and then going bonkers on neighbour machines fx chains resampling and feedback loops etc.

I dont understand the negative views on OT fx either.


Thanks for starting this @GirTheRobot. I’m another recent Octatrack convert, and while I haven’t had a chance to dive in very deep yet (just got a bunch of sample content organized), I kept reading about how the FX were mediocre at best. I shrugged it off because I do have a couple decent FX pedals. I mean, I’m looking forward to using those, but it will be fun to see what can be created inside the OT. I also think that some of the “magic” is there in p-locks and LFOs. Every time I turn the OT on though, I get this grin thinking about all the various possibilities.


I really don’t know where this comes from. They’re highly usable and add a lot of life to any sound.

I used to use a 404sx and those FX were great too, but each one only had three parameters and you could only have one global effect on at once… Stacking required another unit or resampling.


Cheers, I enjoyed reading that.


Another in agreement here. Anything could be ‘improved’ I suppose, but would we all agree the improvements would be…improvements :slight_smile:

I use the DJ Equalizer, Dark Reverb, Lo-Fi, Chorus, filter, compressor and delay a lot. Haven’t had much luck with the Spatializer, but maybe I’m just not setting it up properly. Comb filter is hit and miss, but when it works, it works well


Or the supposed bad sound quality of it as a sampler, out of curiosity I tested it against a bunch of other samplers because some people online were saying it sounded bad, and I’d never thought so, but to satisfy myself that I wasn’t just biased I did some tests and came to the conclusion that those people were talking nonsense.


I have a family member who buys and sells vintage synth, drum machine, sampler, and FX. Most of these things have a fraction of the horsepower of the Octatrack and yet they’re incredibly sought after in their community and considered very “cool” to have.

Just depends on who you run with and what sound they’re going for. All relative.

FX are part of genre performance, not a technological arms race.


not long ago I (re)discovered the LoFi effect - particularly the AM on percussion/breaks.
turn the AMF into high numbers, then start turning up the AMD… find the sweet spots, parameter lock, etc.
maybe add some light distortion to give it some character.
I rarely use SRR and BRR these days, but they might be useful on some ocassions (ie. some light SRR on melodic/synth tracks)


I’m late to the game as usual but you won’t find me complaining about the OT effects. My personal favs are the filter, delay and the compressor. I use scenes to create delay “events” with time modulated feedback, etc. I’ve not found lofi to be terribly musical for what I do but the compressor more than makes up for it. I’ve not used another sampler or synth that has a compressor as nice as this.



I’d love to see another Elektron with the “choose you own insert FX” scheme. Maybe a future MK3 could give us 3 FX slots per track.

I love the overdrive in the filters.
I love LFOs on the DJ EQ.
I love the base/width on the delay.
I love the plate reverb on snares and claps.


I prefer the overdrive on the filter to the distortion in the lo-fi, especially on bass sounds.

Also must say, the lo-fi SRR on the OT (& Monomachine) is nothing compared to the Machinedrum implementation. Not enough crunch.

Besides that, the chorus and phaser are a bit weak unless doubled up on neighbour tracks, but the rest of the fx all get love, and really begin to thrive on p-locks, lfo’s and scenes.


Yea, I wish they had something more like the delay’s send on pg1, dry level on pg2 implementation.
Much easier to get a wet effect level through dry level reduction + gain staging when that scheme is present.