RLEN no longer than 64?! terrible

Hi folks.

Just received my Octatrack after a long long backorder wait. I love it. Such an inspiring piece!

I am not finding it too difficult to learn. Perhaps all of the warnings I had read prepared me for the work. I find that it’s quite intuitive and so so very deep too.

But I am very troubled by the inability to quantize record loops longer than 64 steps. I almost never make standard 4/4 edm music and I get the feeling that I’m by far the minority in that regard. I want desperately to be able to record a several bars of improvisation and have it playback in sync. 64 steps is an absurdly small fragment, IMO. One can only fit very short melodies into that space.

How are others getting around this?! I have read a few threads, but not yet seeing much reason for hope. Anyone have a sense of whether Elektron might add 128 and 256 setting to the RLEN parameter?



Set rlen to max and use the qrec to start and stop sampling quantized. Or you could use a one shot rec trig to just start sampling at the right moment and not worry about quantized stop since the start is the important bit. Sample will play in sync regardless of length.

To record longer samples I recommend you turn dynamic recorders on and reserve length (? whatever it’s called, I’m not sure) off, in the memory menu. That way if you have nothing in the Flex slots, you can record a sample of over 8 minutes. Copy that over to the Static list and remove from the rec buffer to free up the RAM and you can do it again, while playing back your previous recording if you like. And so on…


Thanks muchly, JSZ.

Not sure what troubles I was having, but I’ve found some success after your response.

For anyone else interested, these are my settings:

Recording Setup 1 : RLEN MAX, TRIG ONE2
Recording Setup 2: QREC PLEN

The only slight distraction is that I have to wait an entire 1/2 scale 64 beat pattern length before recording starts. No biggie. thanks!


You could set qrec to 16 for example, then recording would start on the start of the next bar. Nice if I was any help and congratulations on your purchase :slight_smile:

yeh followed this and its working now, set REC1 setup - Rec Trig - ONE2 & REC2 setup QREC to 16 steps. And Recording start and stop will always be Quantized to even bars.



Beware with Pickups it behaves differently if recording length is different from power of 2 bars (1, 2, 4, 8, 16, etc). It changes tempo, and length. Messy.


Unless the sequencer is running, then it will quantize the same way that flex machines do (and by setting the multiplier to a value above 1x you can record long loops easily this way, although I’ve never personally gone above 256 steps).

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What the point quantizing without the sequencer ?

Ex: With pickups, with QREC = 16, record 3 bars at 120 bpm :
It is considered as 64 steps, and changes bpm to 160. :sketchy:

A Pickup doesn’t behave as a recorder and a flex. It works with define length (RLEN) or power of 2 length (1, 2, 4, 8, 16) in around 80-160 bpm range, otherwise the tempo is messed up.

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i run different length on my thru tracks than my sample tracks.

64/64 at 1/2 and you get 128 steps thru micro timing, i’ve never tried at 1/4 time, but you could get 256 steps?

What do you mean ?
Using Scale Per Track ?
RLEN isn’t affected by scale.

(But recorder trigs are, so you can use 2 recorders and record 64+64 steps for instance.)

Using QREC = PLEN you can quantize up to 1024 steps.

if i understand OP correctly they want to record? and/or play back more than 64 steps as a longer melodic phrase.

while changing the scale per track might not give you more “steps” it will allow you to play back a longer recording than 64 steps if they play back at 1/2 or 1/3 or 1/4

thus accomplishing their goal?

OP apparently did it. So yes.
Not ideal.

So that you can preset a fixed loop lengh at a fixed tempo for your pickup machines, if you need to.

I just tested. If you set RLEN to a fixed value instead of MAX, and QPL set to PLEN, with the sequencer stopped you can start a pickup machine and it wil record the number of steps you set for RLEN at the current tempo (instead of the tempo automaticaly changing to match the length of the loop, the way it works with the default settings. Normally, it would make more sense to have the sequencer running so you could set QREC and QPL to plength and easily record a clean loop.

So the maximum loop length you can record is 512 steps (PUM 1 with RLEN 64 and PUM 2 LEN set to x8; PUM 1 records any arbitrary source into a 64 step loop to set the master length, and PUM 2 is the one you actually record the 512 (or whatever) step loop you want to keep.

Because you’re using multipliers you can’t get every possible loop length, but otherwise it’s pretty flexible.

EDIT: I don’t want to give bad info and I’m still working on the details, but I’ve figured out an even better way to do this. It’s definitely possible to record loops that are WAY too long to fit into memory, though:

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Ok, it’s possible to record loops longer than 1024 this way, but once you’re above 512 it gets pretty combersome, and you’re probably better off using the normal flex machine method.

Definitely worth experimenting with, but so far the hassles outweigh the advantages fr really long loops, unless you use MIDI loopback to control the OT transport from the sequencer. Under 512 steps it’s pretty convenient, though, and there are still some things I didn’t bother trying that might make it more useful for longer recordings. If I come up with anything worth sharing I’ll post it.


Ok now I see what you meant.
Interesting. Have to try.
I think it should work with the sequencer on though…

I didn’t get how you record more that 512 steps with RLEN 64 and LENx8

And there is also Multiply to duplicate/double buffer length !

It doesn’t actually work well for stuff longer than a multiple of 64x8, unfortunately.

What I was hoping:

If you start recording with a pickup machine while the sequencer is stopped but STOP recording by tapping the stop key instead of the correct way (rec 2) you can record any arbtrary number of steps in the pickup machine (up to the capacity of the RAM), but you’ve tricked the OT so that it won’t change the tempo to match the legth of the loop. Since PUMs always have timestretch on, I was hoping that even though the audio in the record buffer wouldn’t be exactly the length of the recorded number of steps at the current tempo (because it’s impossible to press stop with sample accutrate timing), it would be timestretched to to actual project tempo. Then you could use it as the master loop length and use a second PUM with the LEN parameter set above 1 to record an even LONGER loop, this time with the sequencer running so that it WAS perfectly quantized to the project tempo.

What actually happens:
When you start the second PUM, its length is set (on the display) to the correct multiple of the master PUM’s length PLUS ONE STEP, and I think it wasn’t actually quantizing the length correctly. I didn’t bother testing any further, but it looks to me like the second PUM quantizes the actual recording time to a multiple of the real record buffer length from the master PUM, and then timestretches it to match the project tempo, the same as if you had loaded it into a flex machine.

The good news is it DOES work well as a method for recording loops up to 4096 steps, because you can set the master PUM’s track to 64 steps with the scale set to 1/8x (for lengths up to 512 steps at x1 scale) and then use the LEN parameter to record loops up to 512x8 (but not every length between 512 and 4096 is possible, since you’re limited to multiples of the master PUM length).

One way you might be able to extend it would be to save the second PUM’s record buffer and then start the process again, but this time use the old “pre-load a file into the PUM’s record buffer” trick to force the master PUM’s length to go above 512 steps with actual sample accurate timing. I haven’t tried it, though, and at that point the RAM limit probably doesn’t make it very useful anyway.


The thing is, I don’t actually have any use for doing long recordings like this myself, so I only went as far as making sure the basic idea works, but I have no idea if it’s actually more useful than the other methods in practice.