OT MK2 + MPC Live Killer combo!

I went with the LIve because the computer was becoming a workflow killer for me.
The Live allows me to create complete productions without ever going to the computer unless I want to.

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reasons why i will most likely invest in a Live to work alongside with the OT:

the Akai Live’s very different workflow would be a refreshing contrast and complement to the OT workflow.

also: different effects to choose from, simply more spice for the palette of colours to work with.

the Octatrack’s Midi side, although surprisingly powerful, super tight, and very creative, compared to the initial presentation of no more than four notes in a chord, same-velocity for all notes in a chord … does have one limitation of four-bar sequencing at a time, and no multitracking option.

so the Live’s more impressive and comprehensive implementation of midi sequencing with the extra length is quite a desirable feature.

for playing audio samples/stems longer than 4 bars, it is moderately easy to achieve with the OT’s individual track length feature. and yet i think the Live’s workflow is somehow going to be more immediately encouraging to recording longer 16 bar melody or vocal takes.

the Live has a big visual screen for checking out the waveforms and so forth.

the Octatrack has the mega-funky power of P-Locks, implemented with all the impressively tight timing and quirky-yet-logical sensibility that only Elektron knows how to bring.

i was planning on a second Octatrack, and yet if the Live works properly and syncs perfectly with the OT as Master Clock/Start-Stop signal, then it would be a difficult choice. Most likely go with the OT-Live combo, at least to try it out.

the OT is the main game though imho.

and with the Akai’s capacity to allow usb data connection with the OT, well that is next-level cool functionality turnkey studio rocking celebration! :joy::heart_eyes::sunglasses:

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I believe I read somewhere that it’s Linux

How are pattern changes handled between the two?

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Thanks, that’s a nice summary! Makes sense to employ them like that. Plays to their respective strengths well. With the multiple outs on the MPC you could process the drums and the leads differently. Been told the MPC effects are nothing to write home about so maybe the OT can pick up some of the slack there.

I’ll have to see how much I like the two together. I do want to trim down my collection of gear a little bit. If the MPC is to my liking I may just sell the OT and buy it again in the future.

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I also read it was Android !
MPC Stuff sells PCB with OS and Linux, so maybe Linux is the right answer. :wink:

Thats cool re: remote access of OT CF Card from MPC Live.
I wonder though… have you run into the dreaded fake 2GB RAM limitations yet? Seems that people are only getting about 300-500mb in a project of useable sample ram (defeats the purpose of 8 audio tracks) and are clamouring for ‘stream from disk or sd card’ functionality.
I want one but thats an instant showstopper for seamless live performance until remedied.

This should give you a good idea about ram. It’s got 2GB RAM but the OS itself takes up about 850MB. All samples are converted to 32-bit for some reason which means you have approximately 550Mb of 16-bit samples.
Not as insane as 2GB but 500mb still sounds like a lot of ram. Believe they’re working on disk streaming similar to the Deluge as well :slight_smile:

Mine arrived just an hour ago. First impressions on the hardware side are very positive (stiff knobs, weighty and sturdy build, etc). Software seems alright. Going through menus is quick, scrubbing audio waves is amazing, but scrolling through lists of samples gives me serious 2011 android phone vibes. Looking forward to digging in over the next few days.

Will report back with my thoughts on MPC + OT.


I’m in the process of looking at moving an older Ableton live set to MPC Live. Due to the linear MIDI and audio vs. OT, I reckon it might work. I might well use my OT for live sound mangling - I’ll see how it goes.

It’s looking like MPC Live, drum samples moved from my ESX1 and re-mixed, then Virus Ti for most of the synth parts. It’s then a case of exporting the MIDI from Cubase/Ableton, re-loading the drum samples and pulling in (3 at most) stems, recorded from other kit.

Having a sequenced multi-tibral synth or two, makes the MPC Live much more useful for me.


Just as I was thinking my Double Octatrack-Digitone-DB4 is perfect . . . . this idea crops up.

Now I am wondering if swapping an OT out and a MPC Live in would be even more incredible.


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you need to use the event editor to introduce the pgm chg msg earlier on the MPC. Unfortunately this also means that one will need a ”transition” sequence to do this…


Yeah that’s almost what I wrote but apparently you can’t place Prog Changes in MPC LIVE step edit. A shame, for OT too !

A workaround for OT’s instant pattern change is to send a PC followed by STOP and START messages. Doable with a midi processor, or some midi sequencers (like older MPCs ?)

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I do the program changes manually on the Home page. Just turn to the program you want prior to the end of the bar. Kind of cool actually. You can change things independently of where the MPC is in its timeline. Good for drum machines like 8S

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Not sure if it works with OT. For pattern changes, OT seems to need a PC before the end of the bar. I don’t know how much.

Here to report back!

The MPC and Octatrack are indeed completely different samplers. The OT is infinitely better at instant tweaking and mangling of samples and ideal for performing. The MPC feels better at straight forward song writing.
In a setup they do compliment each other nicely. I however found it difficult to balance using two machines with this amount of depth at the same time. Definitely not for the faint of heart.

I found the MPC Live fun to use and very powerful. It’s built in FX were much better than I anticipated and I never even got close to reaching the CPU or RAM limit. A real portable sketchpad for music. However, I found a lot of small things required way too much effort for me to do. Perhaps I didn’t delve deep enough but whenever I wanted to adjust the volume of a single drum hit I would have to go Menu > Pad Mixer > Adjust volume rather then just tapping a button and dialing in a value like on the OT. I couldn’t help but wish I was using a DAW at times.

I normally would’ve considered keeping both around and seeing where things go but I had to drastically cut down on the amount of gear. This means that both the MPC live and the OT are being sold. Even my Digitone isn’t safe and is on the list! Only boxes I’m keeping are the :elmm: and :elmd:.


You really need to try JJOSXL and an old school MPC. I regret selling mine but its just better than the LIve imo. My main gripe with the system is the lack of tactile controls which sounds ridiculous. But I miss the dialling with the big jog wheel and pressing a button to add slices instead of via touching. It just reminded me of Beatmaker 3 which isn’t too far off.


Perhaps I’ll give a used 1000 a shot some time.

I do love playing in sounds using the 16 drumpads but a lot of the other things in the Live were quite a chore to do with the menus inside menus. I was wishing it had some dedicated controls for sample source, filter, envelope and FX. Similar to something like a Tempest or an Electribe perhaps. Shift + pad and then tweak whatever was assigned to said pad. Not sure if JJOSXL is better in this regard?

These things are subjective. I gave my MPC 4000 away and my MPC1000 with JJOS is gathering dust now. Never going back. For me the MPC live will be everything I always wanted from an MPC (as soon as Akai adds multitimbral MIDI input, which is already promised in an upcoming OS). I never liked the 1k sound and the constant pressing of stop was a total buzzkill. But YMMV and all that.

Think going to cop a mpc live again and see if I can get it to work in my set again

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