Octatrack MKI - a good decision for a hardware beginner?

Hello from Egypt.

I want to start making electronic music and I really like Elektron as a company. The only available device on the market here are new Octatrack MK1s and I would like to gauge the community to see if this is a good purchase in 2022.

I am a hardware beginner but have used software to make an EP in the past (it has been many years).

Many thanks,

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It depends on your needs and experience. The Octatrack is very powerful, but also requires some learning and understanding the architecture of it is necessary to get the most out of it.

From my point of view, if you need a sampler with lots of possibilities and you like learning and fiddling with tech, the OT should be a good choice for you. You can also use the MIDI sequencer to control other gear as you expand your setup.

It was my second box. like losing your virginity to a bipolar supermodel. Absolute headache and will ruin everything else for you. Do it


Sage advice, sums it up perfectly.


The Octatrack (MK2, not MK1) was my first foray into Elektron gear, and it did make me go on to purchase more from them. It can do lot of different things, and initially I just used it as a standalone device for playing samples and creating songs on it, which is a lot of fun.

But for me, it starts to truly shine when you pair it with external gear, and resample stuff on the fly and re-arrange things.

As a first Elektron device, I don’t think I made a mistake. But probably I’d go with the Syntakt if I was looking at things today, if analog instruments interests you.

In the end, I think its very dependent on what you want to be able to do. Mangle and play samples/connected instruments? Then Octatrack is excellent!

New MKIs? I thought MKIIs replaced them a long time ago…

But as far as your question goes, only you know if a purchase is good for you.

The OT is still ruler of samplers in a number of ways, but some people find other options better for them.

What kind of music do you make? Or do you want to make? What’s your workflow like? If you give us specifics about how you like or want to work, we can provide you a better answer as to whether the OT is good for you.


It was my first hardware sampler/sequencer/ magic box. Loved it from day one, still do.

Totally depends what you’re interests are, but if you like learning, experimenting, and samples-
Go for it.


I would not recommend it if you are a beginner to hardware. Going to be a lot more headaches than productive sessions if you are truly a beginner at using hardware samplers. Also it really depends on what kind of music you are making and what you want to do. If you’re making really complex IDM type stuff then yeah, maybe it’s what you want. Otherwise I’d recommend almost anything else to get you started on hardware.

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These days with YouTube tutorials, you should be fine. We can help you if you have questions. If you look at it as a challenge, and just push thru the difficult “parts”, it will be very rewarding


I See what you did there…



you should buy a used elektron box and see if you like the workflow and get used to it, before you buy an Octatrack. Unless you love to dive in head first without looking sort of person. it’s not an easy box to get your head around, do not recommend as first box. unless you’re really smart and technology/programming is super easy for you to understand. I know some people like this…

-what kind of music do you want to make?
-what is your motivation for using hardware rather than DAW?
-do you enjoy learning to use complicated machines, or do you really want to start making music as quickly as possible?

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probably old stock that was unsold. There’s only one unit available so I have to jump quickly if I do.

I just hope that it is able to be updated to latest firmware and still gets support from Elektron despite my location.


well I like 2 types of music atm I either listen to melodic electronic music, atmospheric lofi stuff or synth based arpeggios music, I like making stuff that takes you on an adventure. Think Boards of Canada, Christian Loffler, Max Cooper, Four Tet.

The other stuff I like is lofi rap and trap from different countries around the world. I don’t think I would be able to produce that kind of stuff but maybe create an interactive 1 hour long DJ mix that seems professional enough to land a gig in say a year’s time.

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would the transmitter from this work to send audio from the octatrack to a bluetooth speaker?

trying to figure out how to jam without spending more money :sweat_smile:

Octatrack is the greatest sampler in history and also the best Elektron device. So yeah, go for it


It’s not as complicated to use as people tend to describe it.

I initially went for an MPC One as a main sampler/composition tool, but it quickly feels like a bad iPad or a crappy PC with a clunky DAW.
What I find more enjoyable with the OT is that “blank canvas” style : your template can correspond to your way of thinking about composing. And, beside that flexible aspect, you still can develop muscle memory to get faster at navigating inside it.

Go for it.


I’ve lived in Egypt loads (originally from there) and I know how hard it is to find gear you want there, so I totally feel you! The problem I think is that if you don’t like it, you will really struggle to sell it.

Excuse my unsolicited opinion, but I don’t think you should jump on it just because it’s the last one, unless it’s really fairly priced. Maybe watch some tutorials rather than jam videos if you haven’t to see just how much you love it, and explore a few other machines too.

The Digitakt probably suits your needs just as well and will save you money because of Overbridge. See if anyone is coming from abroad/you can order a used one online (added up with import fees it should still be cheaper) and do it that way?

FWIW, I have an Octatrack and I absolutely love it (most of the time), but if it was my first elektron, let alone first bit of hardware gear, I don’t think I personally would have stuck. That’s just me though.

Good luck :slight_smile:


habibi ty


I would seriously scour Octatrack videos on Youtube for a while before making the decision to buy it. If you want it primarily for triggering one shot samples then Digitakt might be your best bet. But if loops and live sampling is your thing then the Octatrack is definitely a good choice. It can do all the one shot stuff, but the Digitakt has a much better workflow when working that way.

You should also consider whether hardware is what you really want, having prior experience with producing with software. All modern DAWs are more than capable nowadays, and may prove to be a more powerful yet cost efficient alternative.