Octatrack live overdub looping

Hi there, I’m sorry if this has been covered before, but I’m finally having a go at looper recording and I’m a little confused. what I’m trying to do is have some pre made loops playing on a couple of tracks, and record live in overdub mode over the top of that. I’ve been following the manual, and the online tutorials, and it’s starting to look like it’s not possible.

If I’ve got this right, using the pickup machine, you can’t start recording unless the octatrack sequencer is stopped, so that’s out. With manual sampling, using recorder trigs, you can’t overdub… so that’s out too. Am I missing something?

cheer for your help.

What exactly are you trying to achieve?
You say you have a couple of loops playing and you would like to overdub, does this mean you want to capture a new recording that includes several OT tracks plus your new material? Or do you just want those playing and by “overdub” you mean just record a new thing that plays on top of them?

Pickup machines do work with the sequencer, it’s the only way I use them. Set qrec and qpl to plen an while the sequencer is going you press a/b on the pickup track, it will start recording on the next pattern cycle and with rlen set to 64 you get a perfect loop synced to sequencer bpm…

With recorder buffers you overdub by selecting both the live inputs and the track you want to add it too as the input sources…

But again, do you want your outcome to be your several tracks playing with a new track looping new material over it, or do you want to combine the tracks and the new material into one recording?


Sorry yes, I wasn’t totally clear.I have some arbitrary tracks playing already, and I want a looper track ready to record external input in overdub while the sequencer is playing. It sounds like you’ve covered that in your answer though, I will give that a go and let you know how I get on. Cheers for the reply!


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“Overdub” usually implies recording on top of an existing audio file, but into that same file so your left with one recording that contains both the original material and what you played over it…

From what you are saying it seems like you just want to record new material into a new loop that plays over the existing stuff and is in sync, is this correct?

If so then yeah, I suggest trying a pickup with the above settings…
Feel free to ask any questions if you can’t get it set up right…


That’s worked perfectly, thanks! By overdub, I just mean using the pickup machines overdub feature so I can keep the looper recording when I want. You can’t overdub when you use the non pickup machine recorder. Cheers for that!


If you find you want longer loops you can set rlen to max and set the pickup to “one2 mode”. This way after you start recording it just keeps going until you press c/d to stop recording and enter looping. With qrec and qpl at plen the stop will be quantized to pattern lengths… You have to turn on “dynamic recorders” in the memory section to enable longer loops to be recorded, after doing so you need to power cycle as currently there is a minor bug where your samples are silenced after changing mem config…

Overdub is actually possible with the recorders as well but it’s a little more complicated to set up…

Another cool thing I’ll point out is that you can load the recorder buffer of the pickup track to a flex machine on another track where you can slice it and do crazy stuff with it. When you re record the pickup loop it automatically gets warped on your flex track!


Thanks! That’s all great info. The flex machine idea is part of my plan already, that is an excellent feature! If I had known you could do that before I would have been doing this a long time ago, haha. I’ve got a korg wavedrum global on the way, so I’m going to use the pickup/flex combo to live sample and mangle my wavedrum antics

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I was using Flex only before but finally Pickups are much simplier for overdub and monitoring with FX, and overdub with Flex is clicky.
Once recorded a loop with Pickups in T1, you can record T1 from recorder 2 and play it realtime with T2 with mangled Flex, and continue to play with T1 monitoring…
You can also play recording 1 (Pickup recording) in any Flex track (as @Open_Mike mentioned).
I have a Wavedrum Global. Do you know you can sequence it, sending it sequenced sounds ? :content:
Soldering needeed.

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Do you mean you can sequence it by triggering the pickups that usually pickup your drumming? That sounds like an interesting idea, haha.

One last question about the flex mangling, am I correct in thinking that you can’t set slice points on the recorded sample slots? Are you forced to use the start point control instead? If so, am I also right in thinking the start point works by dividing the sample into 128 equally sized chunks distributed evenly across the sample? Or are they a specific time point?

Start = 128 equal slices indeed.
You can add spefific slices to recording buffers.
With 1.25E you can pre-slice, e.g. keep slices from a previous recording, it can be saved. Didn’t test it with 1.30B. It wasn’t possible with 1.25H.

For Wavedrum, yes. It works with piezo like pickups. Not simple but if you solder them to an minijack output, and solder a minijack input, you can record it, play it, modify it with pressure…
I just tested with an external signal without soldering. Someone did it.

Hahaha! Fair play. Well, it’s an interesting idea, but I bought it to have something to play with my hands.

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What are the above settings?

I just got the Octa and am trying to learn the looping thing with videos and reading but ironically I recorded one loop perfect and on time…

but I don’t remember even doing it! LOL

So, I have audio coming in.

I will keep it basic.

I want to have one kick drum one shot at the usually 4 floor spots.

So 4 kicks coming from a one shot kick sample in the Octatrack. That is my starting point.

What track should I put the kick sample on? (what number track?)


I do that.

Then I set up a couple thru machine into a flex machine, right?

So Flex has kick on track 1.

Track 2, I make a thru track? (for incoming audio)

Then Track 3, I make it a flex machine right? And set up and put R1. Is that right so far?

What settings do I need to record incoming a 1 bar loop in time with the kick drum?

Any tips?

I get it is probably a lot but I notice some times people give the best little tips on here that provide the a ha moment.

Thanks so much!

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Sorry, I don’t have much time for thorough OT explanations lately, hopefully some other kind naut will jump in with this BUMP…

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What is incoming? Played live or synced / sequenced? It doesn’t seem meant to be overdubed, @Open_Mike settings were for Pickups / overdub.

Func+Rec1 > Rec Setup 1 > INAB = AB, RLEN = 16
Place a Rec Trig on step 1.
Hold Func and press that trig again to make it a One Shot Rec Trig. It will record once if armed. You can arm it again by pressing it, or press yes (preferably).

Play the recording with a trig on the 1st step of T3 Flex, choosing RECORDING3 in the Flex slots.


Incoming audio from Digitakt/Digitone/Model Samples/MonoStation/Circuit/iPad/Macbook via mixer/audio interface.

I have audio signal sync via LINK for all hardware with Octatrack as recv clock from Circuit.

In addition to over dub and looping I am also exploring ways to use the iPad as an FX unit for the signal.

I need to learn these functions of the OCTA prior to advanced routing IMHO at this time though.

Thank you.