Octatrack MKi vs MKii


OT MkII inputs seems to be better than MKI, but I don’t know if DT inputs are so.

Much more recording possibilities with Octatrack, 8 recorders independant from tracks, rec trigs, overdub…no auto-normalize…


@sezare56 @finalform Sure, I neither think that OT’s reverbs can easily be competitor of hardware reverbs (like Space or Strymon stuffs). I just wanted to strongly dispute the statement that OT’s reverbs “are all shit” :slight_smile:


I’ve always loved the dark reverb. Used to think the others where shit but accidentally applied one on a loop yesterday (think it was the spring) and it sounded awesome. Source sound and application of the reverbs clearly key!



Can you elaborate on this ? Do you mean there’s some sort of limiter on the DT inputs and not the OT ?

I know that the OTMK2 inputs are better, I guess my question is more in the lines of “are the OTmk1 inputs usable or would it be justified to spend 650 on better inputs because it would change my life”. I got from @kwamensah 's comments that mk1 inputs are not good enough for him to be used in a real sampler because of lost dynamics, but I plan to mainly use this machine as a sample player, not a sample recorder, so what about using the OTmk1 as a mixer with effects, would I be missing out on something essential ?


I’m not sure you won’t use OT as a recorder, too, once you get on it :slight_smile: However I wouldn’t overrate those complains about MKI’s inputs. No doubt you will have to be a bit careful with levels, but hey man, tons of musicians (amateur and professional) use OT in their performances. Though MKII’s inputs are definitely advanced over MKI, you shouldn’t take the latter obsolated just because of this. I’m not a skilled OT rider but I’ve already made some fine recording with MKI (using 16bit!). Just let the hype be so loud as there’s a plenty of headroom for it :slight_smile:

But this whole thing is really about personal taste, so I don’t want to convince you pro/cons.


MKI inputs are fine. I’d say they compare well to my Zoom H5, so nothing amazing but totally usable. Not going to replace a really good, high end interface samplers but easily as good as a current generation MBox or MOTU or something like that.


Yeah, that bit is getting more and more obvious as I watch cuckoo’s videos for the third time :smile:
I meant what I said in the sense that I’m sure I’d have tons of fun with the DT as well, and I feel less of a need to add more to what I have because the other machines already provide plenty of tracks. Also, DT has Overbridge. I mean … it will have Overbridge some day :sweat_smile:

I can definitely do that, it’s actually not a bad idea to do it anyway, I guess :+1:
It is true that the I’ve seen the MK1 used quite a bit in live situations, so the correct way to do this is probably to get a second hand MK1 and upgrade later, when I know the machine better and get a better feel of what an MK2 would bring me, since it’s always a matter of personal taste as you said.

More than good enough for my use, thanks :slight_smile:


Normalize is after recording. Brings the level to highest, max peak set to 0db for example.
I don’t have DT, don’t know if it’s an option now, but I can’t stand that automatic behavior.


The OT and the DT are drastically different as far as sampling goes…

The OT is a super live friendly sampler that’s quite complex but can do amazing things. It can be set up in tons of ways to sample things live as your playing and not only loop but drastically warp with slices and a bunch of other stuff, and all your sampling tricks happen live as your playing. Per step recording/playback of different sources on every track. It can be fully automated with a bunch of settings to customize…
Your 8 recorders can be used just the same as any sample when programming patterns, so any time you sample to that recording your entire programmed pattern starts immediately using the new sample as its being recorded… You can be continuously sampling 8 things and also playing back and warping the samples at the same time on any step of the 8 tracks…

DT is totally different and every time you sample you need to go through a process to end up assigning it…
Seems more tailored to sampling things while your not playing, and then offering a quick and efficient way of trimming different samples out of the recording, assigning to tracks, and then making a pattern. It doesn’t work as a looper, one manual recorder only, no automated sampling.
I think it’s immediacy with sampling refers to the process of starting sampling from silence to build a track…
For live sampling to me is seems anything but immediate, compared to an OT…

About inputs, if you set up the levels correctly nobody but you will know your source is running through the OT, I’m sure the mk2’s are better, but mk1 can be totally useable…


I still laugh at all the “OT audio quality sucks!” threads and comments

If you take the time to learn how to properly gain stage your inputs, and process after with eq/comp/filter, sampling with the OT is a breeze. I like the color it imparts, and if it squashes anything I have plugins and external analog processing to take care of the lost frequencies.

I mean look at all the classic samplers, they all imparted a certain quality to the incoming audio. Nothing that can’t be post processed to sound different.

OT reverbs suck? I’ve owned a big sky, have tried plenty of the UAD expensive reverbs and I still find that the OT FX can yield more creative and unique results due to the LFOs and variable sequencer track length with plocks.

I know you can send midi cc’s to the eventide and strymon pedals, but lets be honest the majority of users just load up a preset and turn 1-2 knobs. I’ll take my OT crossfader and scenes over some lush pristine crystal sounding reverbs any day

with the mk2 i imagine you will have to work a little less harder to get the inputs at the right level for sampling with out using internal gain to amplify the sound. I’d love to get one at some point, but will use my Mk1 til the wheels fall off :smiley:


Can someone sum up the user complaints about the audio quality of the Octatrack mk1 please?
What is the general consensus about this « weaknesses» and how the mk2 could improve stuff?
I hear possible tone suck, excessive 12db sampling attenuation, input with tiny headroom, importance of gain staging for optimal sound quality…


Just go through your reply backwards!
With proper gain staging setup,
You maximize your available headroom,
and make up for the 12 db attenuation,
To not get tone suck…

Can’t comment on how much better mk2 is…


I believe these complaints might be down to overlooked settings affecting playback, input gain staging, use of worn-out audio cables when sampling (user error), or defective inputs on a particular unit (manufacturing error or other forms of damage -> send it in for repairs).

In any case, I could never hear or even measure any perceptible audio degradation when playing back samples on my 2010 Mk1, even now.


Honestly about six months ago I had two musicians running through the OT and my nice monitors and they said it was the best sound quality they had ever heard…

I don’t agree, I’m part audiophile, but that’s a response I got and nobody passing through in three years has ever commented on lack of sound quality…

I do think it could be better, but it’s of the caliber that you need a really discerning ear to tell, and most people out for a night of dancing won’t have any idea…


I agree. It’s not a semi-pro audio interface and it’s never going to be. Gain stage wisely (seriously, though, there needs be a “Merlin’s Guide” on this or word from Elektron {“Suggested Gain Staging Practices”}) and you’re golden.

Bless Elektron for uping the quality on the DT and MKii, but the MKi is still more than workable as a sampler.


Yes but my concern is that it is not just a sampler. I think people use it quite often as a mixer or at the end of the signal chain so audio fidelity is much more a concern than in a classic sampler


Thanks for the tips! How do exactly this tone suck happens? If i understand correctly it’s when the audio is sampled too low at the input so that you need to digitally boost the volume too much?


Probably by keeping the meters green , running through a thru machine without compensating the gain, and basically just using default settings. The gain staging setup link I posted has many settings that need to be adjusted from default…
Also maybe not proper connections like plugging a mic or guitar straight into the OT’s line inputs…

Personally I do not experience the tone suck which is why I posted my settings so people who say they experience it can give them a whirl…

What I notice with the OT is a slightly reduced high-end clarity and a slight narrowing of the stereo field compared to my high end interface. I have really picky ears, a lot of folks won’t be able to tell…
What the OT can do absolutely makes up for a slight loss of fidelity as far as I’m concerned, no way would I give up its functions now that I know them for slightly improved audio that most people won’t notice…


It’s funny I have OT2 and toraiz sp16: the consensus is OT2 users wouldn’t swap SQ for flexibility / sp16 users wouldn’t trade flexibility for the SQ. I agree with both!