Octatrack MKi vs MKii


Yeah don’t get me wrong, give me an OT that sounds as good as my apogee at 96k and I’ll most gladly upgrade! But still, my friends might not notice an improvement even if I told them there was one unless we sat down and listened over and over with me explaining the details to listen to to tell what the difference is. :wink:


Oh Mike thank you so much I’ve been looking for this thread for a few weeks now… I should have asked you !



Nah, it’s not about routing, the internal reverbs just don’t compare to eventide or strymon. They just don’t. The new Elektron Reverbs are decent and I wish they were on here but alas they are not.


Well the issue is two fold, 1 because I plan on using the inputs as a recorder/sampler, but also because I use the second stereo pair as an effects return for my eventide space. So having double the dynamic range is key. Especially since they also reduced the noise floor. But that’s also not the only thing the extra money gives you. The inputs are also balanced, which means you won’t get pesky feedback loops like from a usb connection which were an issue on the OT MKI. The buttons feel nicer overall, and the fact they are illuminated makes it more practical for live use. Also extra buttons they added actually drastically speed up the workflow of the device and make it a lot less frustrating to use.


Your welcome, but how do I know your not Lying, Dalai? :wink:
I’m curious if the same settings work on mk2 or if because of the new in/out levels it’s different?
If they work you should hear no volume difference when plugging a source into a mixer or interface, and plugging that same source through the OT and into the same mixer/interface…


I am too !
And really want to try and report !
… as soon as I’m left a few minutes to do so :wink:

Epic times…


I’m just wondering why people would need USB connection on OT while making music.
(Ah, maybe OctaEdit?)


All I can say about the sound q issues is that I used to hesitate using the mk I as a mixer for my other gear, resorting to ”aux use only” strategies etc… Was probably user error in hindsight…But now with the mk II, I’ve never had things not sounding ”proper” and will not hesitate using it as a mixer for anything.

this doesn’t make the mk I unusable, you just need to pay attention when using it… whereas I feel like the mk II is forgiving in this area and lets you be sloppy with things. Hope this makes sense.

When using the OT to play back samples from other sources (ie not sampled by the OT) I’m sure there is no practical difference between mk I & mk II.

I don’t claim to be an audiophile but I generally trust my ears and have read enough about the technicalities of analog & digital audio so that I know ”not all gear is created equal”.


constantly making wavs to use elsewhere


worth sharing here I think (& thanks!)


Thanks again for the tips!
So for you RED color code @ the inputs is not necessarily clipping or distorting the input??
I don’t find any indication on the manual :face_with_raised_eyebrow:
the color scale of those LEDs seems quite confusing …

[EDIT] : just got a confirmation from support (@Simon) that RED Led indicator stands for clipping (for both input leds and ‘int’ leds on the MK2) so my primary intention would be to try to stay in the “green” area.


Red in general is a clipping indicator for audio devices but I have not noticed any clipping with occasional red flashes, I usually set the volume just below that. Keeping them in the green is not that loud and I definitely push them into yellow, orange…
Using the limiter I’ve seen the meters go red before the signal is fully limited, I’ve opened a buffer in the editor as its recording and the waveform does not reach the top of the display if the inputs are in the red.
I have not taken such a recording and analyzed it in a DAW or anything, but I’ve heard no clipping…

That’s what I and many others would assume but in practice it does not yield the best results and hence all of our discussion and my work on the settings I’ve posted…
I’m not sure if you read my mk1 gain recommendations, but it clarifies some of this…

For me keeping them “in the green” means they are actually yellow and orange… :wink:


Occasionally clipping the analog input might result in a tiny amount of distortion (even maybe a sexy one? :wink: )
I guess that is why you didn’t notice any specific bad sound. Maybe it would appear on the transients or something…
On the other side clipping the digital internal sound engine should be more obvious and nasty and thus should be avoided


After operating an OT for three years I’m not convinced that red indicates a definite clipping of the inputs…
My hunch is either it has something to do with the 12db of attenuation or that it warns early taking into account that you might have seven other tracks and then use fx on all of them, to leave headroom for the final summing…
I don’t use many volume boosting fx, so I may get away with hotter signals and don’t hear clipping…
I’ve never heard any harsh digital clipping from the OT, if it does clip it’s subtle, lives in my recordings, and still sounds good!


Ok now I think I understand the benefit of the new inputs on the mk2.
On the mk1 in order to maintain a correct signal level at the outputs of the Octatrack you have to input signals that are very close to the clipping limits of the inputs. This is related to the standard attenuation of 12db that you mention, ensuring headroom on the digital engine…
The sweet spot doesn’t t seem so large, but gently clipping the analog inputs from time to time shouldn’t be a big problem (possible tiny amount of distortion) but this is something to have in mind and to keep under surveillance during a live set for example.
Now with the improved headroom at the input it may not be a problem anymore!

The user now even has a « int » LED which is a digital audio engine clipping indicator.

This is great great great enhancement imho :grinning:


I guess to get to the bottom of this, we could take a nice clean wav file, sample it into the OT with occasional red peaks, and compare the two wavs in a DAW…
My ears have never needed me to do this though… :wink:


Sorry I meant : « may not be a concern anymore »
Just trying to understand what are the possible improvement on mk2 vs mk1, not trying to piss neither on the mk1, nor on the many users who produce crazy cool tracks with it all around the world, without any problems!


My biggest problem is that I am red/green color weak so the green/yellow/orange look virtually the same to me in normal lighting. I have swapped out LEDs for more distinct variations (such as purple/yellow/white for the more common red/green/orange), but on the OT it’s a bit tougher to find good substitutes to use here.


I understand, I’m with ya!
I’m not trying to defend it either, I’m simply stating how it can be used, and that it works fine for me. I don’t really care if anyone gets one, doesn’t get one, likes it, or not.
I’m just here because it works great for me, and sometimes not as well for others, so I tell them how it works for me, so they can hopefully have more fun and use it… :grinning:


to be honest I’ve already owned an Octatrack mk1!
I sold it because I found the interface difficult to understand. After 3 months with it I was still searching why I don’t hear this or that, search parameters, keep forgetting the buttons shortcuts…dig on sub menus…

I guess I havent tried hard enough and i must admit I am a bit GASed again :yum:
I wonder if the slight ergonomical improvements for mk2 really improves the workflow…
please someone convince him and put an end to that… forget it, I will buy it anyway :stuck_out_tongue: