Replacing Octatrack with Rytm?


I got the OT a few weeks ago after a week of the Digitakt under the assumption that the flagship sampler would support most of the features of the Digitakt like Overbridge, using it as a sound card on my laptop, etc. Don’t get me wrong, Im very impressed by this thing, but I really want the seamless integration via DAW (live 10) and hardware.

One of the main reasons I got the Octatrack after the digitakt was because I wanted to live record loops in Ableton and sequence/effect them through the OT, with more sampling capabilities and more LFO assignments. Having to prep all those loops and load them via usb is kind of a bummer just considering my desires.

So this brings me to my main point. Will the Rytm allow me the ability to send samples in via Ableton/Overbridge without losing much of the sequencing benefits of the OT?

More questions:

Are the sampling engines different in these two?

Does the RYTM allow chromatic scales on the pads?

What would the biggest thing I’d lose if I did switch over, and is it even realistic to look at the RYTM as a replacement for the Octatrack?

I’m not planning on doing shows on a regular basis, mostly want something that I can write with, but having the ability to translate that into a live set is a huge plus.

Feel free to shame me if this question is boring, unoriginal, and devoid of a firm grasp on Elektron gear.


Rytm is great. Its pretty instant and if you’ve been digging the DT you’ll really like the Rytm in my very humble.

That being said, the OT is the nuts. And its a pig to get your head around. Its great, but it’s never going to be like the other machines. It rewards patience and rtm. It’ll cause you to pull your hair out and scre, at the same time as making you say ‘what!!??!’ when it does something you don’t know it could do. It has more functions than some of the other machines, and has some things which are so glaringly crazy, you’ll question the design choices (cutting off tails from fx is one of my personal gripes)

I’m on my second as the first I felt the same as you do now, as well as it being plagues with manufacturing defects. However this time its not going anywhere.

For context–had the DT loved it, but wanted more. Had the DN but fm isn’t my favourite. Have the Rytm, love it. And started with the analog 4, which is never leaving.

I’ve not really help here, so take from it what you will. I was just killing time whilst ableton renders some stuff!


Rytm is nothing like the OT. I wouldn’t even venture to suggest they are interchangeable. Rytm vs DT, maybe. But that comparison is pretty bad too.


Out of all of them that I own, Rytm would be first to sell and Octatrack last.


A better way to look at the Rytm MK2 (let’s assume you are referring to the MK2 and not the MK1) is as a Digitakt that also adds drum synthesis, a mono synth (DVCO) , performance/scene macros, individual outputs, and velocity+pressure sensitive pads. The sample recording section is most like the DT and nothing like the OT.

Rytm MK2 workflow has far more in common with Digitakt than OT.

This is subjective. I say no, some say yes. I find the OT indispensable and I work around the lack of Overbridge.

Very different, have a look at the respective manuals to get an idea.

Yep. Have you had a look at the interface?
It’s somewhat obvious with the “CHRO” button.

There’s a list of biggest things because the things that OT can do that Rytm can’t are very powerful things.
To start: No CF card, means no streaming long stems or tracks from disk.
Less RAM
No time stretch
No stereo samples
No user selectable FX per track
No neighbor routing
No “transition trick” looping / pickup machines.
Less LFOs, and no custom designed LFO shapes (LFO designer)

OT’s lack of Overbridge doesn’t make it a bad tool for writing. It still has 4 outs for studio work, MIDI sync, etc. Most of the music on Earth has been made without seamless DAW integration, so I’d take some time to explore the capabilities of the OT before you throw the baby out with the bath water.


I’ve owned most of the machines and it comes down to what you need it to do.

The Rytm is the best choice in a drum machine. The Octatrack is the best choice for a sampler that can glitch like no other.


Why not get a decent hardware controller for Live and a audio interface then?

I own a Octatrack, it’s absolutely stellar, but i’ve got one to create stuff without a DAW.


Question … why go hardware anyway? From my experience I would say, there is nothing like a perfect H/W-S/W integration on the market. Not from Elektron, not from Access, not from others. It’s nice to have and use it, but … :wink:

The OT is a digital performance sampler for live performance. Generally speaking … wouldn’t recording in the DAW and playing back with some plug-in FX not be much easier? The OT has the typcial time-based FX like chorus, phaser, flanger, delays and reverbs, EQs, and two special FX, which are comb-filter and LO-FI. I think we can find this as plug-in too.

If we don’t use the capability of the OT to control over 100 sound paramters per track at our fingertips, there would IMO be no advantage to go outside a DAW. But if this is, what we want, there is only the OT.

Compared to the OT the RYTM supports quite a basic sampler functionality. The OT comes with different sampler-machines, two FX per track, three LFOs per track, the option to augment a track with the capabilities of a “neighbor-machine” track, adding up even more FX and LFO, and much more.


Just wait, it’s the next big thing, “GEARless Jams”…
Look Dad, no hardware…

The End is near. Aphex Twin has been using Ableton Live all along

An interesting way to utilize the octatrack in conjunction with ableton live is to use an external FX device on a return track and then send any channel you want to octatrack for further mangling.


To be fair to the original post I too am stuck between the OT and the RYTM for drums… but I just gel really well with the rytm and can get the ideas out of my head and into that machine really quickly… but I did not own an OT for very long when I did have one years ago. But recently I’ve been thinking about trading in my digitakt for it…

There are many ways to make music, find the one that works for you.


I roll with both of em, OT+AR. The combo is out of this world, I’d be torn to let either of them go. If I had to let one go it’d have to be AR only because my music is based around live instrument audio loops and theoretically I could squeeze some drums out of the OT at he same time. That’s the last thing I want to do though, together they are too good.

It’s hard to even begin to describe the amazing synergy between the two especially once your sending midi including arps and lfos from OT to AR and have AR audio coming back in being looped, sliced, remixed, and effected across multiple OT tracks and warping and mixing it all with scenes!

If they are right next to each other it feels like one box even at this point. My OT usually doesn’t play pre recorded samples, right now it’s a dedicated AR expander as my instruments aren’t around. OT just feels like an extension of AR, the only audio that comes out of it must first enter its audio inputs from AR…

2 OT’s Vs. OT+RYTM

I agree with all of this. What the OT MIDI can do to the AR via Performance and Scenes and what the AR can do for the OT - relieve it of drums - is a synergy unlike any other.

If your music is beat driven, there is nothing you can’t do with this pair.


You can feed Ableton into the 4 inputs of the OT. No USB mode required. Just throw down record trigs on your 8 tracks and arm disarm to taste. The OT will sync to Ableton. It will sample, in time, whatever you throw at it from ableton.

Scenes and performance on RYTM are really powerful. Not sure if Mkii is mono like the MKI sample playback. I own two MKI. I use one for drums and bass DVCO.

The other for samples, perc noise, loops, one shots. All with that analog engine behind it. It’s a monster.


if you’re just using the OT for short, one-shot samples, then I’d say you could totally switch over to the RYTM and be good. you’d lose some stuff and gain some stuff, though. but it sounds like you want to use either for mangling loops which you’ve recorded into or otherwise created within Live. the RYTM isn’t going to be great for that, and likely can’t do a lot of what you’d be asking of it.

what was the workflow you’d imagined, if the OT had had Overbridge? would you be playing the loops from Live and recording them with the OT? I think that would actually take more time than just dragging/dropping them via USB. also, you could always just play from Live through a sound card and record into the OT, if that’s your desired workflow.


Also you can sequence 8 vst’s from OT midi tracks. Might be synths, might be fx that you’ve routed either DAW or OT audio tracks through and now you can plock their parameters all synced up on the Elektron sequencer… :slight_smile:


Do we love the OT?


Right! Just MIDI out on DIN or have I missed something on the USB bus?

I’m just breaking into my Korg Legacy for just this. Write the sequence. Sample it. Slice it. Mangle it or Nicerize it. No matter. It’s in my +drive for use whenever, however.

I’ve been doing this with my hardware synths for a few months now. So easy to build a song up.



I use an iconnectmidi box to convert the din to usb. If you go looking you’ll find devices featuring various amounts of connections and features that will do this…


It’s happening. I took the month of February off from all hardware. Conclusion. Ableton’s a pretty powerful tool.

I made a number of tracks but like this one a lot.

And you can’t go wrong with either the OT or Rytm. They both rock!!!


Thats slamin’ Bro!! :loud_sound::zap::zap::zap: