Octatrack Synthesis: Filter Ping Percussion [video]


a normalized recording of ‘silence’ is used to excite or ‘ping’ the Octatrack’s resonant filter, enabling the production of a variety of synthetic tones. Common percussion synthesis approaches are demonstrated, such as triggered LFOs as envelopes, as well as the use of the Octatrack compressor in more of a sound-design context than as a mixing tool. After getting a basic percussion pattern going, re-sampling is employed to generate new sounds and variations

these techniques were used for Abrasions, and I will be producing a breakdown video to show how I used this approach

0:00 recording setup and normalizing silence
0:29 ‘noise’ audition
0:35 first flex machine setup
1:21 first filter ping percussion
1:36 note on sample start position
2:10 kick drum compressor
3:17 second percussion setup
4:07 LFO as envelope
4:58 kick drum LFO envelope
5:49 filter resonance setup
6:57 filter slopes
7:09 filter distortion
8:17 tempo change
8:33 third percussion setup
9:53 snare compressor
10:20 additional snare triggers
11:24 accidental warm bass
12:02 compressing reverberated signal
12:39 modulated techno timpani
14:36 filter envelope depth modulation
15:55 adjusting techno toms compressor
16:17 snare adjustment
20:25 note on noise sample re-pitching
21:28 re-sampling channel setup
23:00 re-sampling channel compressor
23:34 per-track scaling
24:53 re-sampling channel modulation
25:48 timestretch abuse
27:27 re-trigger modulation
28:24 master bus compressor


Man… Your pretty prolific!
I’ve watched pieces of your videos and mean to go back and watch them in full sometime, but you crank out too many, it’s a huge backlist…
I never even watch YouTube synth stuff or any OT tutorials, yours are the only ones I’ve noticed with enough depth to interest me. :slight_smile:


you’re on a roll !!! agreedy with open mike ! insane job … you will soon be the ecyclopedia universalis of OT … and please, take that as a compliment

thanks again


You really know what you’re talking about, I’ve said it before but it doesn’t hurt to renew my compliments. So interesting! Thanks a lot.


Great as always, how did you do the screen capture of the OT?


“And as usual I forgot to set it to the rec buffer”
“that wasn’t the most pleasant thing in the world”



@Open_Mike hah! thanks man! they are bit too long imo, but at the same time since YT is on-demand and most people skip around a lot regardless, there’s a certain value to the way this real-time format leaves a bunch of stuff in there - the people that really want to see every single step are able to do that. Only a relatively small percentage of viewers will watch the whole thing, and different viewers will all have different chunks of the video they might watch and re-watch to understand something better that caught their interest, hopefully while periodically pausing to futz with their machine :nerd_face:

@ML :muscle: that’s the goal! well, somewhat - for a variety of reasons, I repeatedly find it’s crucial to focus on the aspects that excite me the most, and that I use the most - and the OT by its very nature is used in very different ways by different people so it’s possible there are some aspects or feature I may never cover - but it’s also very interesting to me to investigate how I can potentially exploit certain features I’ve ignored or have only used a handful of times previously

@pinup57 thank you!! I definitely get some things wrong here and there, or forget to mention something important, (or just purposefully ignore some important subtlety or ‘gotcha’) so always make sure to check things out for yourself and don’t take my word for it :sweat_smile:

@darenager appreciate it!! I use a micro 4/3 lumix, the same one for all info videos, and then a lot of it is processing the screen zoom cutout differently from the knobs/buttons/LEDs layer. I experiment a lot with lighting, camera settings, and processing - it’s basically impossible to film and present Octatrack and Machinedrum with the clarity I’d like using 1 camera and compromises it entails, but doing 2 cameras for info videos would be pretty obnoxious and error-prone and I already screw things up plenty with just 1 camera :grin:

@GirTheRobot basically this is me every single time I use the OT :joy:


Just finished while playing along myself, cool stuff. That resampling track is rad to leave set up like that.


Oh I’m not criticizing their length, I’ll watch a bunch of em in a row on some lazy rainy day. Everything I said was meant as a compliment. I’m not much of a tutorial watcher I’m a manual studier, but I plan on watching yours because they go deep. Keep it up… :slight_smile:


oh definitely didn’t take it as a even a slight criticism, mostly philosophizing on the making of this type of video and the way I imagine different people interact with this kind of content - I generally assume many experienced users like yourself if they watch my vids at all are only going to dip in and out a little bit here and there if they’re seeking just the hard info. As long as I can avoid too much dead space or filler I don’t actually feel like my vids are too long - I view the best parts of this particular format as mainly residing in the elusive ‘soft info’ that takes more screen-time to develop - but at the same time I’m always wanting to make them more succinct and efficient as possible… with varying degrees of success :grin:


Speaking of soft info, the idea that pitching white noise up and down basically acts as a lp and HP is pretty interesting. Never thought about that.


one thing I didn’t do in the video because it can be a bit touchy and subtle depending on context is applying an LFO envelope to the noise sample pitch, which I recall being an important part of how at least one of the sounds on Abrasions was designed

in terms of sonic effect I also like to think of sample rate reduction as essentially equivalent to a low-pass filter, but instead of a resonant peak you get aliasing


I read your posts in your video voice now :joy:


Haha… I’ll have to start doing that… :smile:


extremely cool stuff!


I wrote this up for the OT lab but didn’t end up including it, now I can imagine @defenestration reading it aloud.

The Octatrackers Creed

This is my Octatrack. There are many like it, but this one is mine.

My Octatrack is my best friend. It is my life. I must master it as I must master my life.

Without me, my Octatrack is useless. Without my Octatrack, I am useless. I must play my Octatrack true.

My Octatrack and I know that what counts in music is not the sounds we sample, the noise of our sources, nor the samples we make. We know that it is the fun that counts. We will have fun …

My Octatrack is human, even as I, because it is my life. Thus, I will learn it as a brother. I will learn its weaknesses, its strength, its parts, its machines, its scenes and its crossfader. I will keep my Octatrack clean and ready, even as I am clean and ready. We will become part of each other.



hah! :laughing: my grandfather was actually a marine grunt - but like most people I’m pretty sure I’m only familiar with the Rifleman’s Creed because of Full Metal Jacket


Defenestration - The Voice of the Octatrack… :elot:

May the flex be with you,
Live long and sample… :sparkles:


My OT’s starting to talk to me in that voice… :grin::joy:


Elektron’s Attenborough :smile: