Octatrack MK2 field report after 1 year of use (buying advice)


#22

No burn in on my MK2 (yet). Year old.


#23

I have your aternatives plus more. Latest Ableton Live 10 vsts galore etc and it definately does not motivate me. If i was a paid record producer i would say yes. But your list of negatives when stacked up against the inspiration of the OT seems trite.


#24

@sabana I never said that the OT wasn’t a great source of inspiration - quite the contrary. But at some point this is also about having the right tools for what you want to do - or conforming to what the tool can and can’t do. As we said earlier, these boundaries can be creative fuel or a hindrance. This is not about shooting anyone’s favourite puppy, it is about giving an honest account from my perspective so that someone else can make an informed decision and hear people’s opinions beforehand.


#25

Have the mk1 for 6-7 years now.
It recently started having issues with some triggers, namely the A1, as it gets the most use. Mind you, I almost use it on a daily basis. It is my gig device, as well as a studio item. A LOT of cabling and uncabling, audio, midi, power, usb. It is still sturdy and no wiggles. (ok maybe the usb port, but the audio and midi connections are superb). Can’t remember the number of presses mk1 was rated at, think it is somewhere 1-5 million, mk2 is rated for 50 milion! So the only issue i have with it after seven years of Heavy! use is resolved. I have yet to see any laptop+interface setup that replicates this. Plus, any laptop setup is prone to troubleshooting and long restart times, which sucks at gigs. OT restarts in 10 seconds.

The pitch shifting algorithm also gets a ton of use, and all I can say, you won’t replicate it in ableton. Every pitch shifting algorithm is unique, so is OT’s.

I am waiting to get my mk1 repaired so i can sell it and upgrade to an mk2.
It is a hard to learn to use device, that is the only thing to bear in mind when thinking about it. But it is an instrument. Took me three long years to start to use it properly. From my perspective, you have a rushed opinion of the OT.

Will keep using it for quite some time.
It is a mixer, sampler and sequencer, with flexible everything and beyond.
And yes, nothing can do what it does.

Here is a picture of my warrior friend, notice the wear and tear of the crossfader, used the little bugger quite a lot.


#26

As an (unsure) potential buyer of the OT I am very thankful for your quality post. Some things might be subjective but there are definitely some weak points in this device that would really grind my gears over time. I dont hate working with computers (I rather enjoy the flexibility) so Live10 and Push2 might be enough for my sample mangling needs.

Still have the DT/DN groovebox combo as my little idea givers to get my away from the computer from time to time <3


#27

Both sides are true. Love the octatrack and also get super annoyed by it. Getting stuff setup is time consuming and a pain, but once done it FEELS great. Definitely great for performing. Well laid out, good knobs, great buttons. awesome fader.
Love the filter and lo fi fx. Mainly use those and delay for smoothing loops. And i use an external reverb.

So yeah a frustrating chore sometimes …but when all is setup SUPER fun.


#28

@mkdsl The roadworthyness of Elektron boxes versus a computer is definitely something that people need to take into account if they want to use it outside of the studio, very good point. Although to be fair, my Rytm MK2 died on me two weeks after I got it - while I was performing :frowning:


#29

Can you tell me what inspires you with Ableton 10?


#30

@sabana Different things inspire different people.

I had a hard time explaining to some of my friends what inspired me about the Octatrack (and Elektron boxes in general). To some people it is just an incredibly expensive small grey box with a tiny monochrome screen and lots of buttons. A DAW like Logic, Ableton, FL Studio or Reaper doesn’t necessarily have to inspire me, I see it as a box of tools for realizing a vision: arranging stuff, loading samples and connecting other equipment - just like the Octatrack.

Maybe it can be inspiring to see a whole arrangement in front of you, not just one page of a track at a time. People who want to break away from the standard 4/4 rhythm will maybe find that easier to do outside of a 16-Step sequencer. I’m sure people draw inspiration as well from good user interfaces, be it from graphics that resonate with them or from the fact that they can get a certain task done in a shorter amount of time. Sometimes it’s just a workflow thing - having a tool that does exactly what you need with no workarounds helps you focus on your vision.

And that’s of course also true for the Elektron boxes. I wouldn’t trade my Digitone, Digitakt or Analog Four for anything. But they don’t have the job that the Octatrack had in my setup.


#31

Thanks. I can see you have put a lot of thought into this. Yes everyone’s inspired by different things. I can use Ableton but its just for production. I find it hard to create on it and thats where the need for something else is needed for the workflow. Your write up should be pinned as its very informative.


#32

Very good idea @Francis, here goes:

  • I loved that it is a central brain for the setup, having control over so many devices at once from this one compact device feels amazing. Like the captain of a spaceship.
  • The crossfader and the concept of scenes is so powerful, a great tool for performances
  • Like @Stemshade I also liked the lo-fi effects and the filter, which I think is surprisingly good!
  • I loved that you could make “planned” recordings using rec trigs so that you get loops that are ready to use and perfectly synchronized to the beat. Don’t try that with a Digitakt.
  • Slicing. Also one big step up from the Digitakt.
  • Having an audio editor (take that Digitakt).
  • Arranger / Song mode (Digitakt and Digitone are looking suspiciously at me).
  • I loved that it has the most capable sequencer of all Elektron devices (Retrigs AND Slides! Lock Trigs, Trigless Trigs, One Shot Trigs, Recorder Trigs, Swing Trigs, TRIGS TRIGS TRIGS!)
  • Being able to swap out samples with the next or previous file in the directory and hearing the new sample in context is super handy.
  • As with every Elektron box: parameter locks.
  • Portability.
  • 3 LFOs per track!
  • Using it as a synthesizer with single cycle waveforms.
  • The joy of a haptic experience when making music.
  • It doesn’t say on the box, but it does come with a license to be smug about not using a computer. Tell all your friends :wink:

These things were just from the top of my head, you would find more as you use the Octatrack. I think you can see from how often I wrote “loved” that I will miss this machine.


#33

Oh and I love stutter delay. I don’t care what the government says.


#34

This post was flagged by the community and is temporarily hidden.


#35

fwiw, that way a good write up.
OT is surely capable but prospective users should be happy to find your post.

good job.


#36


#37

and thats a gif for the collection.

cheers,


#38

Good post! No harm looking at this from a bunch of angles. I’ve had a DT for maybe 8-9 months because I strongly dislike doing electronic stuff in Logic. It’s been a blast to use. There are tons of threads about what it can’t do, how it is severely limited (it is) and all the functions that should’ve been added ‘in this day and age.’ Yet you can spend days listening to incredible pieces of music on them from all the folks who just embraced it for what it is and didn’t sweat what it ain’t.
Got an OTMK2 abuot two months ago. The first two weeks I wanted to throw it off a cliff…once I got past that and accepted that it’s gonna be awhile to grasp it, I’ve enjoyed it a great deal.
This week I’m employing a ‘best of both worlds’ approach. Made about 50 samples in Logic. All edited, time stretched, etc, then put them in a folder and loaded em into my OT to sequence and further mangle. Been an absolute joy.


#39

How dare you mortals question our Supreme Deity…
The flex overlords won’t be pleased…
Octatrack is Infallible (and ineffable), if you wish to pass the initiation ceremony you must drink more Octahuasca until your full blind faith is restored…:stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye::joy:
:crystal_ball::monkey::sparkles:
#Octacult


#40

damn son that is a very well worn fader, thats wild


#41

octahuasca lmao. mike a savage.