Octatrack MIDI + Ableton Drum Racks = Powerful Drum Machine!

This whole thing makes me miss my drum macro racks 127 of each type of sound I use normally, dial away and get going

Yea. It’s all about the multi-sampled collections and that sample select!


Here is the best solution for ableton working with external hardware I believe.
Not sure I remember everything correctly so please correct if I am wrong. Ok, now :

Slave the clock of the octatrack and set ableton as master.

For audio tracks triggered internally by the octatrack :
Set audio tracks corresponding to your outputs of the octatrack with external instruments.

For processing the audio generated by the drum rack “expander” :
Add one track containing your drum rack expander. Add the external audio effect utility to send the audio to your octatrack. And then back to live.

Now add your Effect chains, regardless its latency.

Deactivate the option “reduced latency while monitoring” then run live sequencer with the metronome “on” and offset ableton’s clock while monitoring the metronome of the octatrack until you HEAR IT in sync.

Save your set and remember that this setup will remain sync as long as you don’t add another fx with look ahead ect…

Oh and also you have to check that you defined the driver error compensation in ableton‘S preferences !

Now you are In sync regardless the latency settings, ect…latency doesn’t matter anymore as everything is compensated within ableton.
You can easily go up to 10 or 20 ms without being annoyed.



yo man, great post

For sure that is a great write up on how to do it smoove :wink:

**EDIT: **


Is this concoction only doable with the OT? Is this possible with the DT as well?

I think the principles are applicable to any hardware. Just adapt to your needs. I used the OT in the example above, since that’s what I use.

For example, if I were going to use the RYTM or DT, and I wanted to monitor though Ableton and apply VST effects, then I would MIDI clock slave the device to Ableton via USB, monitor the hardware device through an Ableton audio track, set that track’s output to “sends only,” add an External Audio Effect at the end of the chain, and then send that effect’s output to a separate output on my sound card.

It’s complicated to explain in words, but it’s dead simple once you set it up.


Omg, I don’t know why I kept thinking I needed OB to do this with the DT. Thank you so much for this!


If someone uses this to take a video
I really like it … PLZ

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does this only work if ableton is master clock? if so can you explain why?

when combining ableton with octatrack and other otb sequencers, I’ve found that slaving Live 10 (much better than 9 for this) to a squarp pyramid to produce the least jitter in my setup. (havent tried usamo or innerclock etc.)

I never slave Ableton.

I’ve noticed too many issues with that. For one, Ableton has some bug that screws up the MIDI input when running as a slave. I can’t recall the details. IIRC, most people syncing Ableton always use Ableton as master.

Ableton’s jitter does not bother me. It’s pretty solid compared to other DAWs. I think they have a chapter in their manual about it.

I do have an ESX-8MD, but I no longer use it, because again, the jitter does not bother me.

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This is just what I’ve been looking for!! I’m just having trouble mapping my RYTM sounds into the Ableton drum rack. Any way to do this??

Could you be more specific about what you are trying to accomplish?

I’d like to map each track on my RYTM to each of the slots in the drum rack. So when I play a sequence on the drum rack it will also play the sounds on the RYTM. I actually don’t really know if it’s possible to do this…

The 12 track sounds on the AR can be triggered by sending the lowest 12 MIDI notes (note numbers 0 to 11) to the AR. The sounds can also be triggered chromatically. See the section “MIDI NOTES” in the AR manual.


Thanks! I’ll check this out

Went back to this method of drum sequencing recently, after acquiring some new plugin licenses. Many with low/zero added latency that are making this method work out.

Have to say the Plugin Alliance plugins are ideal here. Very low latency and great sound, especially modeled transformer saturation.
Maag Eq2/4 bx_opto, and Lindell Channel shine the most.

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I do something very similar with the OP-Z, only I have a bunch of kicks on track 1, snares on track 2, etc, to fit how the OP-Z prefers things.

You can also map the OP-Z’s rotary controllers to parameters in Ableton, which will transfer step components into Ableton. This works really well with a Simpler, for slicing. Map the OP-Z’s P1 to pitch, filter to filter, etc.

Just had a blast setting my OT up to do this.

Not sure if I set it up the same way, maybe somebody can advise - I have all OT MIDI tracks on the same MIDI channel for the Ableton drum rack and using diff notes per OT Track to trigger the diff kit sounds.

I converted all my old NI Maschine Expansion kits into Ableton kits so it was great fun playing the same sequence on the OT and auditioning the zillion kits quickly in Ableton and then sampling some loops via the OT master track with the kits I liked.

I have saved this setup to Part 4 and renamed the Part LIVE11 for this kind of work. Only learnt today that you can name Parts despite it being in the menu!!