Octatrack Tips & Tricks (OT Tips)

I like to use pickup machine as kind of a quick and dirty way to make sample chains. I set a machine to a specific length and to overdub, and I record little snippets of things, filling up the silent space as needed. I then take the loop, edit it as needed, and slice it as appropriate.


Nice… Never tried it.
Trigs: normal trigs or trigless?
Use TRC? What is it?
Sorry for the (maybe) stupid questions…
I am getting to like my OT more and more.

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Trig conditions.


A convoluted way to undo overdubs with pickup machines:

  • Save the current loop (FUNC + REC3 -> Save this recording)
  • Overdub
  • To revert back, load the previously saved sample to the pickup machine’s track’s record buffer (pickup machine in track 1 uses R1, track 2 uses R2, etc):
    • Select the record buffer
    • Use the right arrow to navigate the file manager
    • Find the sample and load it
  • Overdub
  • Repeat as needed

Some caveats:

  • Loading a sample to a record buffer will stop playback of a pickup machine.
  • As far as I am aware, there isn’t an easy way to access the list of flex slots from a pickup machine track like it is possible from a flex machine. You can double tap on SRC, move to FLEX with the up arrow but do not press YES, use the right arrow to navigate to the flex sample slot list, move to the record buffer with the arrow keys but do not press YES, use the right arrow to go to the browser, find and load the sample with YES, then press the NO button to exit from everything.

I think your post itself is a neat demonstration that should be moved to the OT Feature Request thread asking for an undo function :wink:


Because this also works in the SLICES screen it allows a great way to throw in bookmarks/markers when listening to long audio

When you hear a good bit just double-tap YES (adds a slice)

EDIT: hmm… if you want to add several ‘bookmarks’ you’ll have to give the Level knob a twist after adding a slice - otherwise the options are contextual to the last slice made…


Does the OT now have lazy chop??


Dono if someone write that before, guessing yes, but we learn thru repetition - hehe.

Ever wanted to hear the sounds in your library faster then loading them one by one and hit some key, slot ect? Here we go…

  1. Select a track with a sequence.
  2. Open Playback options page.
  3. when you end up in Machine-type-selection, just hit ARROW-Right
  4. you should be in the slot list of the machine now. Remember the sample name if you want to go back later
  5. now hit FUNC+RIGHT, will load the very next sample in the same folder as the sample that was at that slot#.
  6. each hit on FUNC+RIGHT will do so as well until you are at the last file of the folder.
  7. works with FUNC+LEFT as well and is also the way to go back to the sample you memorised before.

HINT: Dont forget, slot lists (flex and static) are global, meaning you change all trigs that are assigned to that slot number in all parts of that very project.


I’ll add you can use specific folders for that trick, only snares for example, or sliced drum kits. That way you’re sure to get the same type of sound. Can be used in live condition, DJ set…

(IIRC the folder list doesn’t loop if you use Func + Right only)

No sure if it in the Tips and Tricks thread, so it is a good idea to write it here. :wink:


exactly. And becomes even more fun when those folders contain chained sample files where lower SL numbers (lets assume) stay for softer sounds and higher SL numbers (up to 64) maybe for harsher sounds of that kind. Like collections of snares or kicks. When SLIC is turned on it will read the .ot file sample positions if available/stored side by side to the wave file with same name. If one managed to create such set of files it allows to skip thru entire kits of sounds. Without the .ot file and or turned off SLIC option the SL parameter works on evenly spaced-spread wavelengths, meaning SL 1 is the first of 64 slices and SL 64 the 64th of imaginary 64 evenly spaced slices in the file. And because that works on non-sliced wave files as well, where SL 32 of 64 imaginary slices is basically playing from half of the available length of the wave and so on, you will need coffee to think about what you can do to improve your live-sets with that.

I was thinking to experiment with a polyphone sounding set of at least 3 chained files, where the slices correspond to 64 pitches to be played together as chord. A little bit as if only black keys are on one file and white keys in another (despite that does not work like that for chords)

That is i want to break into chordish behaviour of the machine as it is not meant to play chords that easy. Which remindes me of a feature request for MIDI arp, but thats another talk

You can play chord using arp, setting note LEN to 0. Use Lfo designer to sync it.


I really need to read this thread top to bottom!


Will test this on Vermona Perfourmer. Attempts before ended up in invalid notes (missing noteoff). but checking twice, how knows. The math says the ARP no matter what length will be replayed in ARP-SPD with ARP-NLEN’s applied ARP-Pitch based on NOTE-NOTE. Given Chords aka NOTE, NOT2, NOT3, NOT4 will alter the ARP each next note the arp triggers. If LEN == 0 then the ARP is 0 as well and might fire just the first pitched note atop the base NOTE given. Tried that with LFO as well to alter the base-NOTE but i get a single note output no matter what, sadly no chord. I 'd expect the NOTE, NOT2, NOT3, NOT4 to be applied in the ARP pitches, each time. Up until now it is as if i have two ARP in one track plus the RNGE octave range altering it again a third time. Well fun but no chord… rrrgh. What i did instead was using 3 tracks and keep them in check either by using all ARP of those 3 tracks or altering all 3 tracks each with a LFO.

In other words, when i use an external MIDI input Keyboard or the Machines CHROMATIC i would hammer the chords in as played and they end up in NOTE,NOT2,NOT3,NOT4 - then i would turn on arp to alter them, but not one by one but the whole chord arpeggiated up or down according to the ARP. That is when i would want no chords, i would simply not write a Trig with multiple pitches (4). Makes sense or? And because i know MIDI NOTE SETUP has two empty data fields it could even be an official option to turn on/off (would make a project done with firmware 1.40A still compatible). Or alternative, the ARP is stored as series(array) of 16 pitches in the range of -64…63 means there is 1 bit free to be used (would make a project done with firmware 1.40A incompatible). That would allow to even turn that on/off per ARP note. Should knock that into feature requests ^^.

maybe have to mention i have the bank data format decoded. but sshh. :stuck_out_tongue:

just saying. PB aka Pitchbend is your friend. Does a sweep on a played NOTE if the receiving device supports PB, some even allow to set the range (in example MOOG’s, Dave Smiths, KORG’s etc). Means LFO with smoothed steps or a slow LFO with a single smooth step between desired values and map it on PB (page ctrl1) does the trick.

I am in the same process to gather the tips and tricks that are not in the manual.

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In that concern, do you know which channel is used to send crossfader and scenes midi data ? :wink:

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Nope :slight_smile:
Hit me up :slight_smile:

Crossfader and scenes are sent on the lowest midi channel of the audio tracks not shared with a midi track channel…

Ex : if the lowest audio tracks midi channel is 1 and shared with a midi track using the same channel : CC48 is sent on channel 2.

If all audio channels are shared, or if they are Off, nothing is sent.
Same rule as AUTO setting in MIDI SYNC page. It doesn’t correspond to AUTO CHANNEL as on other Elektrons, but to the lowest audio track channel (not shared). Confusing, isn’t it ?

Also :

if several midi tracks are assigned to the same MIDI channel the track with the lowest number has priority in regard to parameter collisions.

So if the same CCs are sent on several tracks, they will be sent only on the track with lowest midi channel, unless you mute it…
(Had to test it with a midi monitor)


OT is indeed a “confusing” machine…
Add to that a very confused (and aged) user…
And you get a perfect misunderstanding :slight_smile:

Edit: to be honest, I have gotten used to the OT for what I am doing with it although I am aware I have barely hit the tip of it. I have my templates ready to be used (and updated if need be) and it works great.

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A summary would be welcome!