Octatrack Tips & Tricks (OT Tips)

Thank you!

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This isn’t a trick as much as it is a tip about file management:

If you’re using single hits as drum samples, you’ll find that it’s easy to take up a lot of static/flex spots with just hits. Something I’ve been doing is to bring all of my drum samples into a DAW and to put all the kicks on one track, snares on another, etc… I render each track as a single WAV file, then I bring them back into the OT and assign slices to each hit. This way I have one sample slot for all of my kicks, one for all of my snares, etc. It saves space on the slot list, and actually makes it easy to compare hits, as they are slices that can be played quickly via Slice Mode. If you don’t have a DAW, you could always resample your hits onto a single track and slice that track.

I’m sure this has been utilized by a lot of people, but figured it was worth mentioning for those that haven’t considered this approach.


Yeah this is something I keep forgetting to do. I’m not sure if I’d group all of my kicks, etc but I do have a lot of single hit percussion samples that I tend to use monophonically together in a track. I just never think to render them all in one file and then slice on the OT!

Yes I once took the time to organise 64 slice wavs each of kick, snare, etc. But also taking care that the slice numbers matched up in terms of kits - so for example slice 34 matches up through the various sliced slots as being from same kit.

Then I can use the fader to scroll through the kits live, by having slice 0 on scene A and 64 on scene B for all tracks with sliced drums

I thought it would be good for auditioingg but the changes you get with the fader going through kits on the same rhythm are often really nice so that’s more how I use it now


And there is a very useful free tool to create your slices very fast : Octachainer, by @Abhoth :

And of course Octaedit by @Rusty, with its chainer module :


My humble OT tip.

I have been trying to come up with a really tight xfader curve for scratching with OT. Now there are several methods for this but I think I finally figured out the best way:

Set up a delay fx for the track you wish to cut with the xfader. Configure the delay to do echofreeze. Now make that echofreeze output silence with a very short delaytime. Set up a scene which activates the echofreeze and Bob’s your uncle.

While I find this method produces the fastest possible cut with the OT fader (MIDI CC value change of just 1 unit for opening and closing the fader!), its still more of a ”scratch switch” type of cut, not a fade, so results will wary. A real cutting xfader will still produce more musical scratches. But this trick is neat for cutting up beats and such!


I have to try this. I thought about you and your OT’s crossfader best curve quest when I found another trick in order to have direct 100% level with crossfader (1 CC value too) :
Plock Thru machine Input AB / CD values.
Instant cut / on.
I ended with recording A and C or something for stereo, don’t remember why.
And it is clicky !

Apparently you found a better solution, maybe plock Inputs can be used for other purposes.


That tip is really good ! :thup:

I didn’t know delay’s VOL doesn’t work with LOCK I. :thinking:
You can also keep a regular 48 time setting with feedback so that when send > 0, dry sound only, and with send = 0, delay only.
That way you play the sample normally, and it has delay only when you cut it with the crossfader.

Could you remind other methods, or link the concerned thread ?
Answering myself :


Might not be big news but I just soloed an OT track for the first time… Never came up before…
Maybe some of you are with me, so it’s cue+trig while in the mixer or quick mute mode… :smile:

Also there’s a handy group mute/unmute using func+trig in those modes…


You have got to be kidding me. And here I was thinking OT and me were already close :joy:


Hold stop and press play several times : the pattern will be played at the beginning each time you press play. Works with MD and A4, and other Elektrons I guess…


oh man. didn’t know that as well

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omg it works! it is officially possible to solo a track on the OT! well, today is a red letter day to be sure. doesn’t get better than this.

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well in fact it does get better than this. Use Cue and another Track Trig button to then also Solo another track alongside the currently Soloed track.

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Took me three years to even have the thought to use solo, I’m sure there’s more little nuggets hiding in front of our faces. I still have barely explored most of the fx too…

I had “OT solo?” go through my mind for like a week, and I even was seeing a green light in my head but I couldn’t envision where it would be because the track lights already go green, it was the trigs…

The funny part is if someone would have asked on the forum I would’ve looked it up and found the answer in a second, it went through my mind for like a week before I looked it up for myself… :rofl:
I learn tons about the OT by answering questions here…


i’ve started exploring the OT effects whilst doing song production sessions. it’s all about the sound. previously i presumed that recording and applying effects via Ableton was a better quality and workflow, however to my delight it is not. recording synth parts direct to the Octatrack, applying OT effects then resampling and saving the synth part actually sounds a lot better in most scenarios.

although sometimes i do put the synth parts through a guitar preamp/overdrive pedal, also an Electro-Harmonix Electric Stereo Mistress, on the way to the OT, but not often.

and so by adopting this new workflow i am exploring the OT effects more and more. Sometimes the Compressor needs a lot less of the Ratio parameter and easing off with the Threshold to avoid harshness. And the Lo Fi effect has two absolutely cool parameters for progressive stuttering effect - “amf” and “amd” … somehow they are interrelated in the way they work.


I need work on compressors… I’m almost kinda nervous to leave the one on the OT on because I never feel comfortable that I’m using good settings… I’ve gotten more comfortable with the Rytm’s compressor though…

Love using the crossfader to bring in the fx with their mix parameters, and maybe morph some of their other parameters on the way, but I barely leave my comfort zone of filter, delay, dark reverb, comb filter, the ones I know most…


I mostly use those, and compressor :
Usually to use it, starting from default setting, I set ratio to max, decrease threshold until sound decrease, add gain, decrease ratio to taste, mix to taste.
Rms set to max for a mix track with several instruments, from what I understood.


Do you find settings that you can leave it on most of the time or do you turn it off when your making a new mix and then reapply with new settings?
(Oops, we should probably go to a compressor thread for this :wink:)

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i found that although it is way cool using Track 8 as Master channel with the associated possibilities of applying effects to the entire mix, somehow it was getting in the way of truly understanding the quality of the OT’s effects on individual tracks.

So, whilst in song production, that option is not being utilised. But then, when hopefully doing a live set in the not-too distant future, or capturing a promo mix recording, that is when i would use Track 8 as Master channel/effects.

on the parameters page of Filter there is a “dist” option which is sometimes useful when double-tracking a synth or bassline. If the synth or bassline is coming from Zebra via Ableton, i will then also sometimes apply a realtime effect of a gently notched low pass Autofilter, the “Generic Compressor” preset, and the “Warm Tube” preset in Ableton, whilst realtime capturing that and the already captured audio file playing … using the Recorder options of input CD and T6 for example, recording both signals to a new track. This sometimes helps avoid overly-obvious phasing issues when double and triple tracking.

Comb Filter is a fascinating effect, gotta explore more of this.
Spatializer is the one effect i am not exploring atm as i work completely in monaural. This is for two reasons: i dropped one of the Genelecs and it stopped working as a protest against unfair treatment - thus, the home studio is now a one-speaker scenario.

Also, my personal opinion of playing through big separated sound systems is that it is going to sound most predictable in mono mix.

From what little i know of Spatializer effect types, they are only going to be perceptible through a stereo mix via two speakers.