I have recently spent some time to get my head around the pickup machines on the Octatrack and i think it finally has clicked. The way they are setup allows a lot of flexibility in terms of synchronising the pickup machines to the sequencer and vice versa in various ways. Super fun and actually not that complicated when it finally clicks.
There are however a few things i wolld like to see improved, which i think would make the pickup machines even better:
Improved visualisation of pickup machine state (stopped, playing, recording, overdubbing, replacing). It would be nice if it could be visualized with larger/clearer icons somehow for the currently selected pickup machine track. Perhaps in the recorder setup page or as a new trig mode where the trig leds could indicate what is going on in the pickup machine.
Support for sequencer trigs. It would be nice if the sequencer could be used to trigger envelopes and LFOs on the pickup machine track. Currently you have to use a neighbour track if you want this kind of functionality. And an issue with using neighbour machines after pickup machine tracks like this (in a setup where multiple pickup machines are used) is that memory allocated for the pickup machine recorders are allocated in recorder order from 1-8. So if you stick a neighbour track in between two pickup machines you basically waste memory on the unused neighbour track recorder. A better solution here i think would be to merge the neighbour machine and the thru machine. Basically a through machine with the ability to also select any tracks output as input. I have no idea if this would be technically possible tho.
Functionality to undo latest overdub (would increase memory usage tho since i assume each pickup machine would need two recorder buffers)
I doubt we’ll ever see any major updates to the OT tho. But i just wanted to put this out there just in case… who knows… perhaps one day we’ll get an OT2 =)
Anyways, it is quite incredible what this machine actually can do. There is really nothing else like it!