Perfect OT + Multitimbral polysynth + monosynth (+ drum machine) setup?

Cheers! I´ve got a bit of dilemma and I hope that someone could give me some advice.

So, I´ve been collecting some gear for a couple of years now. I have tried a multiple different dawless setups, usually with some sequencer and 2-5 hardware synths and drumboxes. Some of the setups I have liked – others not so much.

Now I would like to start to concentrate on one permanent setup of gear – maybe 3-4 pieces, that I would learn inside and out and would start to finally make some finalized songs with that gear. The main goals are:

  • To learn well 3-4 pieces of gear
  • To finalize songs using that gear
  • To use the setup for live jamming
  • To have minimal(-ish) setup for live gigs (at cousins weddings etc.)

At the moment, my best pieces of gear are Octatrack, Access Virus TI2 and Dreadbox Typhon. I aim to make some techno, dub techno and trance.

So, the question is: What is the best way to utilize mentioned gear in my setup? My options are:

  1. Octatracks sampletracks for drums and oneshots and OT´s miditracks for controlling Typhon and TI2 in multitimbral mode. (OT + TI + Typhon), or:

  2. OT´s sampletracks for sampled stems, chords, arps etc. sampled out of TI1 (and other synths) and OT´s miditrack for Typhon AND some third piece of gear for drums (Drumbrute, TR-8, Model:Samples or DT)?

Pros for first setup is the utilizing the great FX´s of Virus TI. Pros for second setup are the possibilities for sample mangling.

So should I use my OT as a midi sequenced and a drum machine OR as midi sequencer and sampler for stems…? Which way it would be utilized best?

Or maybe you propose some other ideas? Besides gear mentioned above I have also Minilogue XD, Monologue, Roland SE-02 and Wadorf Blofeld…

Welcome.

Both! Begin with setup 1, then add a drum machine receiving program changes from OT for pattern changes . DT can also send program changes per step, interesting to change TI2 patches oftenly.
Edit : to be clear, adding a drum machine like DT, I’d use its sequencer.

I have OT and Typhon, I sold my TI Deskop for a Micromonsta 2 without regrets. These 3 make a nice compact setup…


This setup was interesting, but too heavy!

(Still have Digitone, Digitakt, Analog Four, MPC500, QY100, RC505…)

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I’m at a similar place. Have tried different setups. Sold and rebought several pieces of Elektron gear at a quite frequent rate, because one piece always lacked something that at least one other has.
This is quite frustrating, when you don’t really want to own that many Elektron boxes at once :sweat_smile:

Right now I have DN and Mono Lancet. Just sold a DT to try out OT again. I like DT a lot. I just wanted 2 more physical outs. This is actually what happens everytime :joy: either I get An OT mk1 or an AR mk1 instead. Or even both at once.

I like the idea of having just 3 instruments. 1 poly, 1 mono and 1 sampler/drum machine.
But then again, having 2 Elektron and just 1 from another company lacks balance, so might also get a TT-303 mk2 again as a dedicated acid machine, to weigh it out a bit. Though any synth or sampler with a resonant filter and filter envelope modulation can do acid. But dedicated knobs and more authentic acid sound is preferable. But then again, how often do I use acid sounds? And for those very few times I do, I can use any of the other 3 machines to approximate it.

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Its really about drums. Do you like using OT samples as your drum machine? If so, then do that. You’ve got the midi to drive your other synths.

If not, get a drum machine. Youve got all the synth you need. And OT to drive them. Then OT can be used for extra sample flavour or mixer, fx etc.

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I immediately thought the same. In my view it comes down to whether you prefer sampled drums from OT or a dedicated drum machine.

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I love how this picture looks like a memory

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I think an important question would be about how you want to play. Do you only sequence or do you also play keyboards when you record/perform? Are you interested in creating the material in real time when you jam or do you want to compose most of the material and then use this for your jams? The combination of Typhon, Ti2 and OT seem great. I’m working on a kind of similar setup for live use. I use OT for live sampling and effects. I use Digitakt and DD 01/IV for drums running it into OT. I use (currently at least) Mono Station as bass synth and then I use one synth that I switch a little depending on how small I want the setup to be. The most portable version is with Microfreak. One thing to keep in mind is that 7 audio tracks (assuming you want to use track 8 as a master track) isn’t that many if you want to do live sampling of your synths while you play. I’m quite happy with using the Digitakt for drums that can also be sampled and sliced in OT. I also ended up using the midi sequencer on Digitakt instead of OT as I felt it gave a more immediate flow when improvising

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How do you like the micromonsta 2? I’ve been eyeing one as a small pad machine for my Digi/OT setup.

Very much, very simple, ergonomic, small, really good fx, better filters than Virus TI2 imho…take 2 MM2, you almost have a TI Snow.

Exemples with OT vs MM1 (MM2 is better)
Micromonsta 2 - #57 by sezare56

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Let’s start by stating that We are all different and inspirations strikes difrently for everyone, so I can only go about my finding with a using the Octatrack + additional gear.

Statements below are personal opinions and not facts.

  1. having more then one Elektron sequencer feels like a chore and is quiet the opposite from fun. (I’ve both had Rytm and A4 at different times with Octatrack)

With that said would you want to go down the Elektron route, Octatrack+A4 was the best combo for me.

  1. having desktop synths and samplers only also feels like a chore, I’ve had a virus and it’s great, but making songs with only desktop stuff and a midi keyboard felt really inorganic, melodies and structure didn’t not come naturally.

There’s a place for programming, but for me also playing is vital in creating music… for me.

Having acquired a Nord Lead 2 recently I’ve never felt as “close” to my Octatrack or my synths as I am now. I program a beat, maybe an arp on and then I start playing the keys on Nord lead, press record on Octatrack and I now have a midi loop. If I want to modulate a knob I use midi learn on Octatrack to find the CC on the Nord. The only set up that it took was to plug midi in and out from OT to the Nord and set midi tracks to correspond with the midi in on the Nord… first time that I’ve gotten this to work.

So my suggestion would be to look into maybe a virus with keys… because then the two devices will really compliment each other, you get synth and keys on the virus and you get drums and programming on OT.
A set up where you can really go in to detail but also be expressive and improvising.

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Not sure if @Nordfunk precised what was its TI2 version…

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I have a desktop version of TI2 and I use Arturia Keystep as a keyboard.

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And I mean that is just as good… there’s this weird mental block I get when I stick midi keys between the synth and the sequencer. It feels like there’s some degree of separation between me and the devices… and that is just my own mental thing to deal with so please, don’t take any heed to this :laughing:

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Did you noticed on my picture that TI desktop + Digi width match perfectly OT + A4? :content:

Yeah I think it’s normal, I’d like an Analog Keys for that reason, but generally I much prefer desktop versions for setups flexibility.

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Thanks! You got me interested in Micromonsta 2 as a substitute for Virus. I love my Virus, but it is a bit overkill for my purposes and Micromonsta could handle its tasks as well - together with some analog monosynth. Right now, there is one for sale where I live for 350 dollars.

What about its size? I like a small footprint, but is it maybe too small? I have a Roland SE-02 and I love its sounds, but the tiny knobs are very frustrating and I would not use it in live situations. How about Micromonsta? Also I have read that there are some issues with USB noise. Have you managed to solve them?