Octatrack Tips & Tricks (OT Tips)

I couldn’t seem to find a thread for the OT with tips (there is one for the A4).

It’s definitely worth starting one. Especially for people new to the OT.

I will start it out with a cool little newbie tip.

Do you wish you could see how a sample is being affected by a change to a parameter?

Change Trig Mode to Slices [Function] + [UP] or [DOWN].

You can use this mode even if you haven’t sliced your sample. What this will do is change the display to show 4 rows 16 slices per row (4 pages/16 trigs)…but the cool part is the bottom that shows the sample playing in real time.

Now if you set a retrig, for example, you will see it in realtime on the sample line (and on the slices if you are using slices). Try changing some LFO parameters and watch how the different wave forms, multipliers, speed, and depth affect the sample playback.

-breakbeat/slice thread, has some good info on creating slices
-merlin’s pdf, good read for newbies covering some general concepts


That’s a cool bit of info Subq :slight_smile:

Merlin’s PDF should probably reside here as well.



:+1: :+1: ++

cheers subq!

edit - there seems to be a limitation to the length of the displayed sample: after about 30 13.5 min the cursor jumps back to the beginning, but the sample is still playing at its current position. can you confirm this? i was able to duplicate this with two other samples so far, the reset point varies within a range of about 20 seconds.

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Heres a cool little trick ive read in this forum.
Though i havent tried it mysef yet.

In a life situation if you want to mess around with an existing pattern simply press Func+Rec to Copy the pattern before and paste it afterwards with Func+Play so you can go back to the original one anytime.


careful…the correct combo to paste the copied pattern is FUNCT+STOP.
Your combo will clear the Pattern.
But anyway this is a useful feature to have at hand!

My daily tip:

use PlaysFree tracks to start/stop sequenced fx:

say you have a Thru machine.
instead of using a continuosly running sequencer, you can trigger the
p-locks by using PlayFree in Hold and Direct mode (or whatever mode you prefer), creating momentary stutters, sweeps, whatever you prefer, all available at fingertip.
You can have, say, four different sources connected at the inputs and, so, four different Thru tracks+Neighbors.
Using two patterns:
-one with normal sequencing

  • one with PlaysFree mode On on all tracks.
    Switching from the first to the second should not stop the sounds inputs coming from the previously pattern (at least if with the correct Amp parameters), so using the first 8 trigs (A > H) allows you to start/stop some sequenced p-locks for Fxs or Volumes or WhaÈva!

Hope it makes sense…

(= Cheers =)


I actually haven’t checked on really long samples.

yes, even links to other individual tips here in the forum are good :slight_smile:

:alien: :zonked:


Just when I thought I finally had got an fairly good grasp of the damn thing! I haven´t even looked or given any thought into the Pattern Settings + PlaysFree in regard to the Thru machines. Always had just thought about them together with samples. Another complexity level reached in mind (where´s that next level smiley when you need it?)

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Good to see more ideas
It would be usefull to have a seperate part of this site dedicated to this,
cos in a few days this might have gone down a few pages…

Anyway, personally in a life situation, like for example, my boss is doing my head in
I just press “function + play”, whilst turning the encoder A and manipulating the slider
untill he becomes really small, and eventually ceases to exist
I then chop him up into little bits (64) and use the random slice function
I assign the sample rate to -64 on scene B, plus a random LFO controlling his mind
The best thing is he cant do anything about it!!

Sorry long day (week/month/year/lifetime) at work!! :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:


I can check about making the “Tip” posts in each forum “sticky”.

TheSecretMusicUK Octatrack tutorials/tips videos;

These are great for getting a bit further than the absolute basics, but also great for beginners. I believe he is a member on here. :slight_smile:

Skab’s ‘Octatips’ are also very good;

Tarekith’s also got some good OT videos;


catabolicdj has a fair few, well worth a look!

More tracks loop edition

More tracks

Custom waveforms

Multi octave

Hi Pass compressor trick

Multiband compressor

These are the main ones that interested me but there’s more on there, take a look :slight_smile:


those are some good ones, I’ve actually used quite a few similar tricks

Did you notice that recorder slot samples remain sliced after you’ve sliced them once - regardless of what you record into them? This is just awesome. It allows you to record whatever you want and have the slice grid already in place.

If you combine this with dedicated patterns using plenty of trigs and maybe random slice locks, you’re in for some serious action.


for jamming fun: use two tracks to sample the others’ outputs. This enables you to add more and more layers to a recorded loop.

I recommend using the cue output as a source. This allows you to select which channels you record from. This is a good method to build chords.


Did you notice that recorder slot samples remain sliced after you’ve sliced them once - regardless of what you record into them?

But be careful, when you change the tempo you must delete all the slices and slice it one more time and it will be in time again. :slight_smile:

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Tired of your reverb and delay tails getting cut off when you mute a track?

Instead of muting, go to the AMP page and minimize VOL quickly by holding FUNC while tweaking it to the left. VOL will snap to -64, instantly cutting off the sample, but the tails will remain.


Instead of muting, go to the AMP page and minimize VOL quickly by holding FUNC while tweaking it to the left. VOL will snap to -64, instantly cutting off the sample, but the tails will remain.

or lock the xvols to scenes and switch them on and off by assigning them to a and b buttons and pressing the buttons in combo with function (instead of sliding)


…or set an LFO on it

lots of "or"s…one of the great things about the OT :slight_smile:


i didn’t realize while manually recording into a flex machine you could switch inputs to record into one combined file! (…for some reason i thought it started recording again from the beginning.)

so you could hold your track button hit midi to sample an internal source you’ve chosen, then track+ab, then track +cd and they’d all show up in the audio file.

cool to combine it with pre-slicing as mentioned above. i’ve also been messing with routing the cue outs back in, so you can cut between multiple internal tracks. or you can choose an internal track that resamples other tracks…

you could also choose a thru track as the internal track to sample from and link scenes to ab and cd levels, so you can cut between recording ab + cd straight or being processed on the thru track.

i’m going to have to mess with it more. i wonder what happens if you switch parts while recording? haha, dunno why i haven’t tried that before.