Octatrack only as a MIDI sequencer?


No, according to the manual:

All adjustments made to patterns are automatically saved. If you wish to alter a pattern but keep the initial sample trig placements you will have to copy the pattern to a new location and then use the copied pattern as the basis for the new pattern.

What you’re describing is a workflow improvement that the Analog line introduced, AFAIK.

Also, it seems that the audio inputs AB/CD cannot be unlinked? You can still gainstage input A differently from input B, right?

If you want to gainstage A & B differently, you’ll need to create two different THRU tracks, one for A and one for B.


One major obstacle standing in the way of the OT being used as a serious midi sequencer is the omission of parameter slides on midi tracks.
Big fat WTF?!


Yep, I find that annoying too. Don’t know if it’s acceptable to your workflow, but with the LFO designer you can interpolate between steps, so you can set up 16 steps of parameter slides there and run the LFO at a speed of 128 (e.g., mult=2, spd=64) and in SYNC TRIG mode.


Yep, as is often the case with Elektron gear there’s almost always a way around a problem but building patterns in these machines is often time consuming enough without things becoming as convoluted as stitching together a possible four LFO designer patterns to cover a 64 step pattern with smooth parameter sweeps.


oh dear, the reload pattern omission is a showstopper for me I’m afraid :sob:


tsutek: What do you need reload pattern for, actually?
You can copy pattern, and paste it later (to get back original state), that’s something like that.
You can also reload whole project, although it’s not good for a live situation. (halts playback for some seconds)
And obviously you can copy pattern to a different slot as well.


Reload pattern is good for doing just that, starting the patter off where you want it.
In a live situation you can tweak the sequencer all to hell then, “reload.”

does Function+Reload/Cue reload the pattern?
Never tried it on the OT.
You can reload parts though right?


Yes you can reload parts, that is what fn+reload does!


you have 16 banks of 16 patterns… surely you can copy a couple patterns to other locations…

you can reload the part, (like a kit) though

but yeh the MIDI sequencer has frustrating omissions, (like scenes… not even one simple CC parameter or two… HELLO! and yeh that excuse about it not being possible inherently is complete shit, plenty of other midi sequencers do such things quite well - it may not be possible with remaining cpu overhead in OT tho) … and parameter slide is one of them especially…as note slide is of particular use for me… not to mention sweeps, etc. yeh you can burn a LFO or two, three, but damn

best workaround ive found is to record a smooth sweep for the CC into the track by playing it back from an external sequencer like ableton, etc… but yeh, you wont be able to edit it or integrate that into the OT step-based workflow easily


good catch, didn’t think about pattn copy/paste. That’s not as elegant but will get the job done.

I love the pattn reload/kit reload on the AR, you can go totally off tangent during a song and jump back to the original form instantly!

Seems like elektron has matured several key components of their workflow for the analog series. The way trigs/trigless locks/etc are handled on the OT seems clunkier than the trig page implementation on the analog machines.

Researching into the OT’s capabilities is making me appreciate my AR even more. A shame the OT will never match all the features, but it still does many other things right!


if its possible for you to borrow one or rent a demo unit - that would be by far the best

for example i had plenty of ideas of how i wanted the OT to act, when I got it and realized it couldnt do certain things I was frustrated at first, but after banging my head on it for a while, I slowly realized what I wanted to do may not be the best way to go about it in the first place… and as I adjusted to the OT workflow I discovered how useful it really was on its own terms, and then when I adapted to that my skillz and abilitay grew as well - but I dont think it will necessarily happen like that for everyone

what i can say, is that if you are the type of person that gravitates towards step sequencers and live tweaking, if you use step sequencers in almost all tracks, and you gravitate towards devices with near-infinite black-hole-like amounts of possibility (which can be dangerous!) then the elektron stuff is really key - even if it seems wrong at first, before you get your hands on it and play around for a while…

when you accept it on its own terms, adapt to it, it empowers you in other ways… but like i said - not for everyone… country music, orchestral, free jazz (or maybe that would work swell) - you get the idea… it takes a certain type to unlock the tru powah


I understand what you mean. My process with the AR has been slightly similar, once I let go of what wasn’t possible and instead concentrated on what was, I found my peace with it.

I like step sequencers, but being able to go “between the steps” is also important to me. That’s why I love elektron step seqs with their microtiming and swing trig setups + retrig.

I am quite sure the OT is a killer sequencing platform. However, reading the manual etc leaves me with the feeling that it could be even better - offering all the same flexibility that exists for the audio side also to the MIDI side would complete the circle (ie. MIDI sampling, MIDI pickup machines, MIDI fx, MIDI scenes and scene locking). Maybe we will see an OT mk 2 some day!


OT is older than rytm and four. It makes sense the later models would have slightly newer / improved features. Is there anything the OT does sequence wise that rytm and four does not? That would be more concerning considering production release timelines.


Well, I am not an OT expert (yet) but the LFO designer and the arp comes to mind… How’s the arp on the A4? Also the arranger can play segments of a pattern instead of the whole pattern, this would be a sweet feature also on the AR


Well use it to sequence simple mono lines like bass and leads then sample, chop mangle. Rinse and repeat!


That’s not the point. I mean, my utopian view of the octa would be a box that makes as little distinction between MIDI and audio as possible.

I know I can sample midi controlled lines back as audio… but then it’s not midi data anymore, and has the limitations of audio… But this is just me thinking out loud. I also feel the same way about ableton, I’ve wondered for a long time why one cannot warp midi data like audio data (ie. using warp markers to skew unquantized midi data). They way I see it, devs should aim to make tools that blur the boundaries of midi and audio processing as much as possible.


A lot of what you describe here is effectively possible on a Cirklon, as far as I understand it (having not owned one but lusted after one for a while):

  • MIDI sampling: “grab,” “push,” and “swap” events basically allow you to sequence tracks’ sampling and holding of MIDI data from each other
  • MIDI pickup machines: recording on CK patterns (overdubbing live recording)
  • MIDI FX: all the aux events can be thought of in this way, by giving you the ability to mangle sequences into new forms in an automatable fashion. I’d also say that gate probability and variable playback directions fall under this category
  • MIDI scenes: yes, but no morphing between them (AFAIK, only MIDIbox SEQ can do this)

FWIW, the Pyramid developers have indicated that they’re thinking about introducing some kind of internal MIDI sampler in an upcoming firmware release, so depending on how that’s implemented there may be some interesting potential there.

I like that idea a lot (“if you can, why not sample both generated audio and the data that generated it”), but I wouldn’t want it to be the only way you sample audio or MIDI. Otherwise you’d be limited to sampling only the OT’s MIDI data, which would be inaccurate if you do more processing to that data through external MIDI effects or CV processing, no?


well, that’s why you’d need the MIDI equivalent of the sample editor :smile_cat:

And Of course you’d want to have the existing functions as well. But what I mean is, back in the day we couldn’t turn audio into midi notes or quantize incoming audio, but now we can (both processes are imperfect but improving all the time). And some of the existing paradigms of how devs generally think about midi and audio are still tied to the thinking of old, when these possibilities didn’t exist.

You know how in the analog modular world control signals and audio signals can bastardize each other? That’s what I’m talking about. We need to get that form of thinking to the digital world as well (not saying there is none, just that we need more of it)


Just to clarify, I didn’t mean to imply in any way that this wouldn’t be amazing - Elektron, I hope you’re listening!


I’ve learned to prefer working with audio in live and now in my hardware, thus the 2 samplers in my studio. If you are hard set on midi then the other 2 dedicated hw sequencer would probably be better for you.