Purchase Octatrack in 2019?

No single hardware sampler will meet your requirements.

Determine your non-negotiable requirements, adjust your expectations, be prepared to build your own computer-based solution.


OK, you confirm my suspicions. An updated Octatrack could easily fill the few gaps missing from my top ten… but we are not going to see one. The Deluge misses out on the stochastic stuff. Dedicated sequencers cost as much again and would require a separate sampler unit (which don’t exist like in the days of the MPC4000).

Done that already. But audiences don’t like looking at computers unless they are in boxes with names like Elektron on them.



I doubt that this is the problem that you are really trying to solve. But if it were, Organelle, monome grid, or garish blinkenlights MIDI controllers would help you.

I bought one in 2019 and couldn’t be happier with it :slight_smile:

But looking at your list, it offends a bunch of the no-go points you have there…with the Octatrack, the whole is more than the sum of its parts though…

Build a huge fake prop with lots of BIG fancy switches and lights, steampunk-style. Do you really think that huge white grand piano on stage is real? It’s just a (lightweight collapsible) prop with a Nord/Yamaha/whatever keyboard built in…

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Option A: If you want an Octatrack, get one.
Option B: If you don’t want an Octatrack, don’t get one.

Judging by your initial post and responses, it seems that you do not want an Octatrack. I recommend option B. You basically described Ableton Live / Max with that list of requirements. The OT can do many things, but it’s not meant to be a complete DAW solution. It’s way more fun than any DAW anyway.

Comes out Tuesday, right?


I am eagerly awaiting the Blinkenlite 4000 ™… since the current model sucks. :wink:

I have gigged so far from a laptop and realise the optics are important. So it is part of the problem I am trying to solve. Otherwise I wouldn’t be considering hardware when I have a Reaktor system it took ten years to build.

One of these days I may get an Organelle, though I dislike the larger size of the new model. A built-in speaker is the last thing I want!

It does seem as though a very different demogaphic is driving development at the moment. That market segment likes toys. I prefer tools, and am still, despite everything, rather keen on the Octatrack.

[quote=“roadmoviemusic, post:26, topic:100225”]
Build a huge fake prop with lots of BIG fancy switches and lights, steampunk-style. Do you really think that huge white grand piano on stage is real? It’s just a (lightweight collapsible) prop with a Nord/Yamaha/whatever keyboard built in…[/quote]

For full effect, build the stage set using no fewer than four roadies.

How fun would forums be with attitudes like that? :wink:

I am here to be sure I didn’t miss any facts I should know. And already I have learned one or two things.

So far my number one choice is the Blinkenlite 4000 TM. But the Octatrack is a close second.

My snarky response was perhaps uncalled for. Your original post made it seem like you were looking for some kind of unicorn machine, then complaining that it didn’t exist, and that the OT was too costly. To wit:

This is incorrect. OT can transfer files via USB (in fact, that’s the recommended practice)

Try to find a used one, first gen. OT’s are even more affordable and will give you a sense of how well it will work for you.

Why? fear of something newer coming along? That’s always a risk.

Spend some time with any Elektron. After a while hands on, it will start to make sense. one of those things that’s hard to explain in words, but easier via demonstration / practice.


You might want a bretzel before pulling out the plug … But carefull, it’s salty

Have an inflatable one made in China :wink:

3,4,6,7,8,9,10 are checked with OT.
The rest might be feasible with workarounds…

Get yourself an OT second hand: if you don’t like it you resell it :slight_smile:
Prepare yourself, you’ll need dedicated time!


I have a 4 months old OT MK2 for sale at the price of 940€. It’s even listed in Elektronauts Marketplace :slight_smile:
I’ve had it on sale for almost a month now, but doesn’t really seems like many people are interested in it. I had one buyer who jumped ship and a second one who wasn’t sure either. So I think that many people are asking themselves a similar question as yours maybe. I’ve done so myself at least. But we have payday Tomorrow, so who knows? :wink:
I’m selling because I’m using it in a similar way as I would use a DT. I thought that I could do with 4 mono outs, but not really. I actually find it annoying when I want to record in 8 tracks at once where several of them are stereo, while tweaking live but I can’t. So I record a track in at a time without much tweaking. I end up fiddling around for an hour to make the timings right again (I don’t know how to record in time with the daw). Not fun if you have used swing haha.
I use mono samples most of the times anyways and make them stereo in the unit. It’s nice that OT has multiple choices of insert fx, but I mainly just use filter and delay anyways, because I’m not a fan of how the fx sounds. They can be useful though when used in smaller amounts.
3 lfo’s per track is also great, but I have a DN, so I can use 8 lfo’s more via midi on the DT. I’m not using OT for the intended performance use either. I’m using it as sketch pad in the studio. Turn on the computer when finished and record it in to Ableton, where I will mangle and edit further. So I don’t really need it. I just got a DT 2nd hand for an affordable price instead :wink:

Just a quick note, track count and polyphony limits aren’t arbitrary. Do you think devices like this should be powered by a data center for a mere $1000? Of course not. Scratch those flying :unicorn: requirements from your list.

And yes, I would buy it again in 2019 or 2025.


fixt :wink:


Why ? If it has new lcd screen / round grey buttons / grey knobs / complicated shortcuts / black color, 6 strings, I’m in.


have you considered a squarp pyramid sequencer


Just a few (random) thoughts:

In a sense IT IS still 2011, because there is still nowhere a competitor which could deliver the OTs feature set (not even near). I’m thinking here on all the dynamic features like being a mixer, a live mangler, looper, effects unit etc.pp. …

  • With its streaming from CF card capabilities 80MB is normally okay (until you want to record longer stems on it … streaming to CF card would be phantastic here, but well …).
  • What’s the problem with CF cards? Put a 64GB card in once and you have never to remove it again (see next point).
  • There is no lack of USB transfer. That’s one of the strong points of the Octatrack: it’s simple USB drive mode. Copy & Paste + Drag & Drop. It can’t be easier. And with a tool like OctaEdit (can modify the project files of the OT) some otherwise cumbersome tasks become easy and quick.
  • I haven’t missed MIDI over USB on the Octatrack yet. Btw, do you know that MIDI timing (jitter) is worse when using MIDI over USB? That’s the reason why all highly accurate MIDI clocks are using DIN MIDI and computers aren’t as accurate, because almost all DIN MIDI connections out of a computer are channelled through USB now-a-days (no real serialport hardware anymore).

You know…the net aint the best place to be asking people what to do. You gotta makeup yer own mind.

  • Go to a shop if you can try one out.
  • DL the manual and see if it sounds like what yer after.
  • Buy one…if you dont like it, sell it. Look at it like you rented it to try it out.

But asking people to ‘sway me’ or ‘sell me’ is just gonna get messy :slight_smile:
Theres so many people doing ‘look at me’ videos showing off features of gear…im pretty sure that watching those, plus a read thru of the manual will help some.

All gear is as awesome as you make it. If it doesnt jive with how you play, it wont be awesome. And no one can tell if thatll be the case cept’ for you. :slight_smile: