Record midi notes from 2 external synths on OT simultaneously


I have 2 external synths with their own built in keyboards both connected to OT through channel 1 and 2.

synth 1 : channel 1 - Audio thru A
synth 2 : channel 2 - Audio thru B

when I play melodies on synth 1 keyboard, OT is able to record the notes and play it back for me in sync with the other tracks.
However, when I do the same on synth 2, it plays it live but does not record the midi notes so I can stack them up.
I noticed its dependent on what the “Auto ch” is set to. if set to 1, it records synth 1 notes only. if 2 only records synth 2.
Is there anyway I can manage to record both synths keyboards midi notes simultaneously on OT?

Welcome to the forum!

No, the OT can only record to one MIDI sequencer track at a time.

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Thanks for the qk response.
Is this a limitation on all Elektron gears? how about DT, or Analog4?

Have you considered a MIDI merge device?

I do have a midi merge device. but keyboards are sending notes on 2 different channels on a single midi cable.
the problem is OT only records imported notes from one channel.

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Ah, I see.

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@msh911, are you trying to record, in real-time, to both channels at the same time? Would you be content to instead play in from one keyboard but have the OT pipe the MIDI out to the second one?

Set up your OT MIDI tracks to use the channels you want for both synths. Choose one synth to be the “main” one. Set the OT’s Auto Channel to match the MIDI channel of the main synth. When you want to record MIDI for the second keyboard, select that keyboard’s track and play into the OT on the main keyboard.

To reinforce this “main” keyboard idea, I like to have MIDI cables set up like this:
K1 THRU -> K2 IN

This is nice and neat and reflects the roles the devices play. It has the drawback of not being able to play K2’s keys (which isn’t a big deal for me) and also not being about to record K2’s parameter changes when twisting knobs and such like. There’s workarounds for that too.


Thanks a lot for taking the time and writing. this is sooo helpful

I am kinda new to this and I thought this would be a really basic thing. While OT is running and playing the groove, I just wanna be able to go to each synth and play on its keyboard (like pads and melodies) for OT to record and stack them up live. I do not understand why this is such a hard thing to do. lol
Isn’t that the whole point of these devices? at least one of their main features.

What you suggested def makes sense and will be my last resort if nothing worked out (maybe I am being very picky about the way I wanna play lol)

Two questions:

1- is this the limitation to OT? I read somewhere that Analog 4 does not have that limitation and you can send midi notes to it from two different external synths. if that’s the case, what would I miss migrating to Analog4 rather than using OT?

2- my synths are all connected to OT and when I play on their keyboards they will be fine and well mixed through OT but OT will only record one channel(from one synth keyboard). Now is there any way that I record the audio from each synth going to OT and loop them live, like exactly the way I played them. no quantizing by OT and no midi notes being saved by OT. I wanna have OT record the audio it gets as it is and just play them live in a loop. in that case I do not need to deal with the issue above.
(not sure if I am making my point lol, might sound dumb)

Yes. This is one of the OT’s more popular use cases.

I’m less practiced with this than with MIDI, so I wont try to explain in detail. The manual will explain, but you’ll probably need to read several parts and experiment/practice with a few different parts of the process to get this a smooth action. Read the tutorial near the end about sampling, and it will point you to the other sections for a deeper explanation. You’ll want to learn about the OT’s Track Recorders, Record Buffers, Record Trigs, One Shot Trigs and Flex Machines. Or about the PickUp Machines.


The Analog Four has fewer tracks available for MIDI, and they’re shared with the internal synth tracks. The OT has eight fully independent audio and MIDI tracks.

You’d lose sampling;. You’d lose most of the mixer features. You’d lose the crossfader. The OT has twice the number of Banks per project. The OT has powerful MIDI arpeggiator and LFO features and I don’t know if the A4 has them.

If you’re only using your OT for sequencing, and considering the A4 for sequencing instead… perhaps you’d be better of with a dedicated sequencer? I’m considering getting a Squarp Pyramid to run my synths rather than my OT (but I also know I’m still underusing the OT so I’m not in a hurry to get anything else).


I’m pretty sure you can get close to this.

  • Connect both your keyboards to the MIDI merger, and the merged signal into the OT.
  • Set the OT Auto Channel to Off.
  • set your MIDI Tracks up to match the keyboard’s MIDI channels
  • record one keyboard as usual
  • whilst still looping, select the Track button for the other keyboard
  • play the second keyboard

(NOTE: I’ve not tried it)

Another approach: some instruments let you set a different MIDI Channel for sending and receiving. E.G. the Moog Matriarch. If ONE (or both) of your keys allows this, set them both to send on the Auto-channel, but recieve on independent channels. You’d still need to tap the Track button for the keyboard you wanted to record before recording it.

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Again, thanks a lot for taking the time and answering my trivial questions.
I did take your advice (so helpful) and looked for a standalone sequencer. I ended up with MPC one. I love it and it exactly does what I described before I needed and the screen def helps a beginner like me to see the arrangement of the midi notes and how they are stacked.
Now I am looking for an analog drum machine, maybe the new elektron. Syntakt? I am going to have MPC one as the main hub and connect my synths to it as well the analog drum machine.
Just wondering if you had any suggestion about my choice of drum machine? I have heard OT is a great sampler but the sound is not as impressive. Considering my new MPC one , I am good on sampling but need the better sound quality for my drums. I am going back and forth between, digitakt/Syntakt/ and analog rytm.

Glad you found a solution that works for you :+1:t2: