Octatrack mk1 Sample locks


long story short, about 10 years ago ive purchased an OT mk1 and never used it. Now things have changed for the better and i have spare time so, yesterday i took it out of the box, smells brand new and installed the new firmware and stuff.
I was looking at the manual about “sample locks” but didn’t find anything.
I would like to play different patterns on each track, for example, i’m on Track1 and pattern trig1 plays the kick, Trig2 plays kick and hi-hat, and so on. Then, i’m on Track2 and pattern Trig1 plays the bass, trig2 plays a melody and so on. Can you do that on all tracks? I know OT is very confusing and takes time to understand, but i couldn’t find anything about sample locks. Thanks.

Older paper manual ?

You can lock any sample of the sample slot list on any step of any track (except Master track).

Sample lock : hold a trig, turn Level encoder (or use vertical arrows)

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I downloaded the newest manual from Elektron.
So i add all the samples to the slot list and added several samples to the slot list. Then i did hold trig + level knob and i get to choose from the list of loaded samples.
But this gets confusing, so can i play a kick on Track 1, pattern A1, Trig1 and a bassline on Track 2, pattern A1, Trig1 for example. Are these separate? Like, each TRACK has its own patterns? Sorry i hope it’s not confusing, because i’m already confused lol.

I don’t understand what you mean by that.

You can lock samples on any step, hence use up to 64 different samples per track, whatever the patterns or parts are. Sample locks have priority over Part’s track default sample slot assignment.

Yes this is exactly where i am at! And i believe, SLOTS is what i should use?

SLOTS mode is usefull if you want to play / record samples allocated in FLEX and STATIC slots. This way you can record sample locks live, move them if necessary. But you can lock samples in GRID RECORDING mode, SLOTS mode isn’t necessary.

It also allow external midi triggering of sample slots.

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Ok, i’ll have to read the whole manual and watch videos on YT before going deeper, i know this machine is complex and takes time, it’s not just like a sequencer. Anyway thank you for your time.

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Think about it like this: Each trig on each track can do all kinds of different things (and I agree, it can get confusing as to what´s going on where, then you might have to just press play and solo each track to check what´s happening). What is a pattern on what is a sequence differs between sequencers and OT also has parts, but that´s how it works:

Each of the audio tracks can play samples or stuff you just recorded from another track or external inputs (they can even play back while you are recording). Audio tracks are monophonic, so triggering a new sample on a track will cut off any sample that was playing on that track. Each track has its own amp envelope, 3x lfos and its own set of two effects (for midi tracks, each track has its own note page, arp, 3x lfos, midi cc, midi channel and midi program change setting). The pattern is basically the track length, master length, swing settings and some other pattern specific settings (you also have the option to store the tempo with each pattern, standard is global tempo) and the trigs you enter or play in. The trigs in a pattern tell the tracks what to play and yes, each trig you can hold down and let it play any sample from the list.


Parts store which machines are assigned to the tracks, which samples are assigmed to the machine and all the track and fx parameters.
The 16 scenes are also stored in parts.
For midi tracks parts store the midi setup (midi channel, program changes), note page, arp page, midi cc assignments and lfos for each of the tracks.

So changing parts give you the opportunity to work within a complete new environment; new samples with new settings and fx, new scenes.
Midi program changes are send when you change to a pattern with a new part.
Since there’s a lot you can do without changing parts, like p-locks, sample locks etc. you don’t have to use a different part when you want to change some stuff.

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Some sequencers let you change pattern per-track, instead of all tracks always being on the same pattern. For example, the MIDIbox SEQ I use for most step sequencing groups its 16 tracks into four banks of four with each group being able to switch patterns independently of the other groups.

To answer the OP’s question, the Octatrack doesn’t work that way. The current pattern applies across all 24 tracks (8 audio, 8 MIDI, 8 record).

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Each pattern has 8 tracks.

(Well, 8 sampling tracks, 8 audio tracks and 8 midi tracks, so 24 really)

Alright, thank you everybody, 2 days with the OT and i’m already going nuts lol, but i’m reading it’s pretty much normal. I’m used to the semplicity of Roland TR909 and easy step sequencers like that. I do have a Syntakt tho, which i find very easy to use.

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I‘d recommend to really start with simple things. I used my OT almost exclusively as a drum machine + simple midi sequencing for the first year. I progressively added functionality into the mix like the lfo designer, explored the effects more in detail etc. Then later started to do more sampling/resampling and focused much onto that.

There is Merlin‘s Guide - many find it easier to follow than the manual.
There‘s also Electronic Music Production Tips - A guide about OT, AR and A4.


I was able to use the thru machine and feed my 909 and tb303, very easy, also sampled a few 12" records and understood better how tracks, trigs and patterns work, it’s just so different from what i’m used to. I’ll check out the guide, thank you.


all the tracks are monophonic and single sample per step.

Your first example Track 1 Trig 1 plays kick trig 2 plays kick and hihat, would not work since you can only assign one sample to a trig.

Think of it more like Track 1-8 can play any number of samples one at a time. like 8 choke groups almost.

Interesting how people approach things differently. I think I did the opposite… I think the first thing I did was set up a Thru machine and mess around with one-shot recorder trigs.

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