OT Science Lab - 1 year study - who’s up for it? [LAUNCHED]

Octatrackers, Octafolk, Octawizards, Octanoobs, Octapros, Octawranglers and Octatrack users of any kind, how about a challenge/excercise in which you focus only (within the scope of this Lab) on the Octatrack for 1 year?

Here is the idea:

For the challenge you are only permitted to use the Octatrack to finish the work(s), you are free to use anything else for source samples, but no midi sequencing of other gear*, no DAW or external fx, no fancy mastering or post processing other than normalise, trim and fades of finished work(s).

The rules are supposed to be strict in order to encourage participants to really explore the limitations of working solely within the Octatrack and hopefully learn new things and overcome any limitations by creative means.

You can use the Octatrack in any capacity as long as all the sounds and fx come from it and it only, so you could for example use it to *midi sequence an exteral device which is going to be sampled into the Octatrack. You are free to use whatever instruments or sound sources you please for live input, and any midi controller that you want to use is fine also.

It goes without saying that (unless you really want to) you are not required to use the just the Octatrack in all of your musical endeavours for the whole year, but for anything relating to this challenge it is mandatory.

Guidelines and ideas:

Since the purpose of the challenge is to use only the Octatrack it is encouraged and recommend to stray outside of usual working methods and comfort zones, however you choose to interpret this is entirely up to you, but some examples could be:

Work within different genres than you usually do.
Use functions of the Octatrack that you might not have yet explored.
Limit yourself to using only 1 sample for all of the 8 tracks.
Remix your own or others works.
Use unusual sound sources for source samples or live input resampling, good examples of this could be radio or random youtube video or a podcast etc.
Do a piece or pieces based soley around percussion with no melodic elements.
Do a piece or pieces with no percussion.
Themed ideas - weather, film soundtrack, game soundtrack, nature, space, etc etc.
Use different time signatures and tempos.
Use as many samples or as few as you want to.
Use just 1 track.
Use just pickup machines.
Use different samples/slices on every step.
Use just plays free tracks.
Use just trc random.
Continuously evolve a single or multiple work(s) over the whole year, in whatever way you fancy.

Obviously this list is not exhaustive and you can come up with many of your own ideas, it is a good idea to document ideas before and after each work, even if only briefly to keep track of things, and remember to name the project(s) both when saved and in your documentation, as well as the date and duration of time you spent. The documentation is for you to keep and you don’t need to share it, it can be a handwritten or digital document, even video and photos.

It is also encouraged to RTFM, watch tutorial and performance videos of the Octatrack, scour the forum and any guides and tips threads etc. You can also reference older Octatrack challenges both on this forum and the old forum Here

You can do as much or as little as you wish to, it should not be viewed as a chore but as a way to expand your horizons and it goes without saying that any cheating is only cheating yourself, it isn’t a competition and the only prize is the journey.

So, this thread can serve as a general discussion of the idea if there is any interest to participate, then a new thread can be started with the title, rules and submissions.

Anyone interested?

Edit: Short version - use only the Octatrack for this Lab, the duration is 1 year (start date TBC) you can use as many of the 8 internal tracks and inputs as you want to, you can use midi sequencing to get samples from your synths etc but sample them not use them live, you can use the inputs and recorder machines but all the audio must come from Octatrack only, you can use the Octatrack to master your recordings but no exteral fx, eq or compression or mastering. There is no requirement to get lots of work done but if you want to you can, there is no requirement to document your work but if you want to it is welcomed, the idea is to simply explore the Octatrack for a year and push it and yourself.

Edit: 5th March 2019 - files and docs here https://www.elektronauts.com/uploads/default/original/3X/5/2/520515543149e1cc6fd07e0f671c2bccf9904c9e.zip


I can be. I have to check the rules twice tonight, I don’t especially like Pickups for example.


I was counting on you to be in!


A pretty cool idea.

Would’ve given it a bash but I really need to just get back into music a bit more full stop!

I might dip in and try a few things though. I like the limitations suggestions.

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That is kind of the idea, just doing, no requirements other than in a 1 year period do as much as you can just using the OT, it need not be at the exclusion of your other music, the work(s) can be as simple or complex as you want, can spin off from some other project you are working on and so on.

The idea of documentation is for you to make use of, you can of course choose to share the documentation or not.


I might be interested.

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I’m interested. :sunglasses:

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To be fair, I really need a kick up the arse to get back to using the OT! Not touched mine in s couple of months.

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I think it’s a great idea, and I am totally down/up for it

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I’ll have a go too, I like the idea of stripping things back!

There is no future, there is only Octatrack :alien:

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So, in other words…

“This is just Octatrack”.


I am totally down, and I love the ideas you’ve given.

This one, I’m gonna do this one.

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just say when - this applies to all and sundry -


Moderator Edit :

Nothing to see here : Unwarranted stirring

Here’s my challenge: you each make up your own rules and follow those for a year. You can even change them if they’re not working. That way, you wouldn’t be obeying some rando on the internet who wants you to follow his bizarrely detailed list of restrictions FOR AN ENTIRE YEAR. That’s weird. It’s weird to ask and even weirder to agree to it.

Why is this guy more qualified than you are to make up the rules for how you should make music? The answer is, he’s not. If you want someone to make up rules for you, join the army. If you want to make music you’ll have to learn to make up your own.

:rofl:Count to ten before posting next time!


Seeing as I just picked up an OT, and would’ve been doing this on my own anyway, count me in!

As far as I can tell, the “rules” are open for suggestions, so it’s not just one “rando on the internet” making up stuff on their own. If you aren’t interested, don’t do it.


interested, as well!




I’m very interested for two reasons

  1. I think forced limitations are really valuable
  2. I suck on the Octatrack

I miss Rule Number 0: if you have no Octatrack buy one and join the Octa-Army.


Absolutely I’m not, but that was never what this is about, it is a voluntary excercise for those that wish to participate and nothing more.