OT OTW (on the way)

Alright, I’ve watched tons of videos, read the manual a few times, and Merlins guide. I think I’m ready, but a voice inside me is saying “nope, not even close” :laughing:

We’ll soon find out as my OT arrives on Tuesday. I wanted to throw out some impressions before it arrives just for fun.

First, why am I getting an OT?
I thought I was done getting gear, but it turns out I need a box to take with me where I can explore and compose ideas for tracks. I did some testing with my MBP, and DT, and they came up short for what I wanted on the go.

So a while back I thought “I need an MPC!”, so I started putting money to the side to get one. But when I had enough saved to get the Live 2, I suddenly realized the OT was probably a better choice for me and ordered it instead.

The main reason I didn’t consider the OT, was because it was “old”. I dropped that point of view, and it helped a lot that there were recent OS updates, and the black MK2 looked good to me.

Now, what do I think after reading about the OT? Well, I think it’s a very intriguing box, and I find myself relating everything to the DT because it was my first Elektron. The DT sampler feels like 1 recorder from the OT. Having 8 simultaneous audio samplers and manglers is a lot, and that part has me very intrigued.

For recording guitar, the memory limit on flex machines is a concern when overdubbing and having other tracks dedicated to other things. I think it can work well if it’s fairly quick to save a recording buffer, and replay it through a static machine to free up memory. I’ll definitely need to explore pickup machines, as those seem ideal for live composing with loops, and there are many YT videos showing how to do this.

IOW - I’m confident I can record guitar just fine, but what I’m not confident in is how much elbow room I’ll have for other things (drums, melody, chords, etc).

Regarding sound, I’m impressed by what I’m hearing from the OT. Lots of creative and amazing sound scapes utilizing the sequencer, and scenes for transitions. The liveness of it, is infectious. I’ll need to make sure I can record the master from the OT, as live mangling is a big part of what makes it unique.

One feature I wish it had was to record the master track to the card. That would be ideal for capturing a performance.

Anyway, I have no idea if anyone is interested in my ramblings on the OT, but I’ll throw it out there, and update it as I learn.

Gino

4 Likes

otw = on the way :robot:

Very familiar story and my decision to get the grey. Thanks for sharing.

1 Like

Thanks, I updated the title. I was trying to be clever with “OT OTW”, and it probably wasn’t clever in hindsight :slight_smile:

1 Like

I’m sure you’ll love it if you’ve done the research as it seems you have. BTW, I used to record guitar through an OT and found Pickup machines a pain in the ass and overdubs have the potential to ruin things with a bum note etc etc. So check out using Flex machines and Record trigs instead for instant playback of your recordings and the ability to layer them by using more Flex machine tracks. My process (which will make much more sense once you’ve got it in front of you) would be to have the Record trig view open, start the pattern, place the Record trig as soon as possible, then have the rest of the pattern to prepare to play guitar. No need to end the recording manually that way, you just set everything up in advance including how long you want the recording to be. And that’s the beauty of OT - multiple ways to achieve the same results.

2 Likes

Gino, we are in pretty much EXACTLY the same situation. MY OT will also be arriving on Tuesday.

Like you, I’ve watched many videos. I’ve asked around here if I should have a concern due to the age of the OT (e.g. when it first came out and its current and permanent limitations) in comparison to more modern boxes, and the ever-present debate: OT or MPC (a few very long threads on that question here). I ended up deciding the MPC One, at half the price and with capabilities beyond the OT (far beyond in some cases), was the better choice. Now that I have the MPC, I am not so thrilled with it, but I have decided to keep it, for now, and see if I can find a way to use it with the A4, M:S and OT, as my sequencer setup.

I don’t have a DT, but I got into Elektron with a M:S, loved the workflow so much, bought an A4, and loved that so much, decided to take the plunge for an OT. I will have two uses for the OT–at home and for a standalone box. When at home, I can run stuff into the OT and use pickup machines to play around with that. I also plan to create a lot of samples from my other stuff (hardware and software synths) and then throw them onto a card for the OT, and then take the OT up to my cabin as my solo box to mess with the samples.

I ordered my OT from Amazon two weeks ago (wanted to get 5% back on the use of an Amazon card), and it didn’t say if it was black or grey. I have a grey A4Mk2, which I think I like better than the black (besides it was used and saved me several hundred dollars), so even though the grey OT is darker than the A4, aesthetically, might look better. But who cares. I will be happy with either. Is there any difference between the two besides paint color? Did they upgrade any of the hardware when going from grey to black (like screen burn-in issue resolved)?

1 Like

Nope, exactly the same.

1 Like

Thanks Craig. Good to know. Then I think I hope for the Grey.

1 Like

The OT can do this.

1 Like

You record to memory, then save to the card, yes?

Yes. You would set up track 8 as master track. Set-up a one shot recorder on it. Depending on how long you want your recording to be, I think it can be up to 8 min. Then you would want to save it. Or not. There are other ways of doing this, but that’s just the one I’m using for an example.

1 Like

Thanks, however I don’t think this is the same thing I was asking for. Recording to RAM, then saving to the card means you have to be aware of memory limits. What I’m asking for is like a static machine in reverse. You start performing, and the master track can directly record to the card (for example to capture a 20min OT performance).

My guess is that most OT users record to another device when performing, but I’d love to be wrong about that! :slight_smile:

1 Like

Because of how open ended the OT is, that sort of thing just wouldn’t happen. I actually have the 1010 Blackbox for this sort of thing. It records for however long you want, in sync. But, I mostly use my computer for recording. If you want the OT to do something, it is always possible, you just have to work under the OT rules (see manual). If those rules don’t work for you, you might need another tool.

Just grab one of these for recording performances. One of the best purchases I ever made …

1 Like

I got it yesterday, and here are a few pics and a few initial thoughts:


It’s smaller than I expected (which is good, it’s nice and compact)

My muscle memory from the DT is throwing me off. For example the cursor keys are to the left on the OT and to the right on the DT. It will take some getting used to.

The effects are better than I expected. Very workable IMO.

I forgot everything I read and watched, and was a bumbling idiot for the first few minutes on the OT. I had this same experience with the DT, so maybe I am a bumbling idiot :slight_smile:

Screen and interface does feel like a step down from the DT, but it works just fine.

Recording guitar worked right away, and with what seems like zero lag. This was very cool.

I couldn’t get the auto time stretch BPM to work on the first sample I did, but it was easy to set the BPM on the sample (esp over the metronome, thank you CUE+TEMPO).

Scenes are awesome! I had a few happy accidents by mapping sample start and a sample of people talking.

Audio editor works really well, hey I can zoom :slight_smile: and zero crossing is handled. Too bad the DT doesn’t support zoom and finding ZC.

The slider is super smooth! I was expecting some resistance, but it really floats and glides. I like the feel of it now.

Love accessing the card over USB, this made it super easy to add samples, and to backup the first “track” I did. It sucked, but I kept it just to laugh at it in the future.

I’m still a bit fuzzy on what machines to use when, but it was only my first night with it.

The biggest challenge for me so far is selecting active tracks. Coming from the DT, it’s very hard to remember to press the track you want as they are above you. I wish there was a shortcut to select the corresponding track from the trigs (like the track button does on DT), but that might be silly as there are dedicated buttons right there.

Although recorder trigs were an odd concept at fist, they work great. I got completely distracted by resampling and routing. The flexibility of the sampling is incredible. I’m so used to the DT, and in this area the OT crushes it (which is the whole point of the product).

I failed to find conditional trigs - I looked it up - it’s with the microtiming popup.

I kept choosing the wrong encoder as my brain is wired from the DT to expect the first one I feel on the left to be the first one on the screen. So I kept turning the level encoder by accident.

The select / level encoder scrolls super fast when choosing an effect. Why so fast?

While I do miss the more polished experience of the DT a bit, I’m also VERY impressed with the OT so far. It’s a bit more “alien”, and that is somehow cool and part of it’s appeal and style :slight_smile:

Tonight I’m looking forward to layering a few guitar tracks.

13 Likes

The hyper sensitive encoders are a big issue on the MK2 and was enough of an issue to sell it. They are nerve wracking sensitive

I also received my OT on Tuesday. I have barely had time to open the box just to make sure it was “new” (it was). Mine is the grey version, which is fine with me. One thing that surprised me is the “looseness” of the crossfader (very easy to move back and forth). It works fine in terms of switching between scenes smoothly, and doesn’t seem glitchy at all. I did a search on this and saw that with the MKI this was an issue that came up on these forums and elsewhere. I am guessing this is a design decision, but wanted to make sure it is supposed to be this way. Is your crossfader pretty loose?

Yes, it’s meant to be loose, silky smooth, near contactless, as if you could blow it over to the other side. Nothing wrong with your OT at all.

2 Likes

Thanks for the confirmation.

1 Like

Yep - my slider is the same and it surprised me too when I first touched it. It’s really nice, and does not feel cheap though, it just glides very easily. It made me think that a shaking bass speaker could make it jump around :slight_smile:

Yeah, I was thinking that it might move too easily, but I am not a stage guy, so I guess it makes sense to need to use little effort if you are constantly moving it back and forth while also holding and touching other buttons while creating, copying and pasting scenes.