Shirow's Octadiary (Warning: hiphop ahead)


Hey fellows!

After some time making music with a DT as a first step into Elektronland, I finally sold it to get an OT. Inspired by the One Year Study thread, this thread will document my adventures in Octaland and the music created during the travel from Octanoob to (hopefully) Octasorcerer.

First steps in this adventure:

Not taking advantages of the beast’s full potential yet, but I learnt:

  • how to sample
  • how to edit / slice / save
  • how to use static, flex and neighbor machines
  • how to sequence some slices
  • how to configure the crossfader to go from scene to scene
  • how to resample the whole shebang in a recorder to get a “DONE!” track.

Not too bad for now. :grinning:


I’m actually considiring the same move… And i also make samplebased hiphop, so i’ll follow your diary closely!

There’s 3 things keeping me from upgrading, could you elaborate on your opinion on these things so far?

-I often read people stating the digitakt sounds better than the OT, though i dont know if this goes for the mk1 or 2 as well. Do you notice a difference?
-the thing i like most about the dt is the simplicity of turning it on, and jamming right away… but i miss the ability to slice and record longer samples. How do you feel about the ot so far? Are the simple things immediate enough not to scare you away from turning it on?
-I really like the form factor and size of the Dt. I can move it around in my backpack… is this possible with the ot?

I hope you can convince me to either keep or trade up the dt… right now i’m in a lot of doubt

Oh yeah by the way: your track sounds great, seems like you allready know what youre doing!


First time I turned on the OT (mk1, for the record), I was indeed a bit disappointed. But turn on sampling at 24bit + sample a slightly hot signal = eh, sounds allright! Plus you have a bunch of fx (including filters, eq, comp etc.) to sculpt the sound how you want it… and you can arrange them how you see fit (yay, 3 eq in a row…)

On the mk1, there’s definitely a bit of menu diving to get where you want to go. Nothing horrible, but it’s a new muscular memory to build from scratch and I don’t feel at home with my OT yet. Some things are a bit hidden here and there. But the basics are not hard to master at all… You have to give yourself some simple goals you want to accomplish with it and keep the manual on your lap while trying to do it. Once you get the basics and with your own sound library imported, it’s equally fast to get started on something.

Moving hardware around is not my thing… if it’s bigger than a volca, it stays home! For reference, an OT is twice larger than a DT, I’d say. You could take it in a backpack.

At this stage, I really like my OT so far… yet, I somewhat miss a bit the simplicity and elegance of the DT. But man, all that power… You’ll have to stay tuned to know the verdict in some months. :grin:

Hehe, thanks! I told you, it’s not THAT hard to get the basics… :yum:


Thanks for taking the time to answer my questions… The FX sound very nice and the fact you’re already making stuff like this is a good sign. I’m still in doubt now though :joy: .

I’ll follow your diary with great interest!


B-b-buuuump with some fresh music!

A little break from my octastudies… too busy twisting the little disks on my op-z and sampling the hell out of everything since last update.

As a result, some fresh boombap, straight from the little grey friend:

And for those who don’t wander in the op-z thread, my previous effort, still hiphop, still op-z, but much more synth-y than usual:


Both sound awesome man! I love the drums. Been missing you in the hiphop on the digitakt thread. How do you like both these machines after using them for a while compared to the DT for the kind of music youre doing?

After your last reply i stuck to the DT for now


@Sleepyhead Thanks, man! I’ve been rinsing your beattape since you dropped it!

Op-z: I really dig it. It’s ultrasmall, it has a dope sequencer, several synthesis engines, and it’s now a sampler. It’s fun, it’s quick, perfect for how little time I have to make beats. BUT the synthesis engines are super limited, the fx are really meh (the reverb is borderline useless) and it’s far more limited than a DT for sampling… and the build quality is really questionnable, people are starting to have buttons double-triggering like mad here and there. In short: it’s mad fun and inspiring, but no replacement for a DT.

Octatrack: the absolute opposite of the op-z, I’d say… no limit to what you can do to a sample. I feel that its much less focused nature makes me a bit reluctant to use it. DT felt like a real instrument (with its limitations) to me, whereas I don’t feel that vibe with OT. Too many possibilities, maybe. And goddamn, the GUI is really hard on the eyes. I’m pondering whether to keep it or not.

To conclude: considering the already super high quality of your music, you should keep using the DT I think… Sounds like you gel really good with it. I somewhat regret selling my DT / SP404 combo.


Damn, those beats are all crazy good man, keep it uppppp


Haha thanks, man! :blush:


Sadly, thats kind of what i expected of both the OT and the op-z, and your reply confirms my choise to stick to my current setup. I’m madly in love with the DT-Sp404 combo, but sometimes the grass seems greener on the other side, and especially the sampling possibilities of the op-z made me very curious. The music you posted so far does sound awesome though!

Thanks for listening to my beattape btw… It’s all sequenced on the DT.


Well, it’s a pretty cool beast, but there are some quirks here and there that sometimes make it a bit annoying to use: the awful reverb, the 2 fx blocks not feeding into each other, the lack of filter env, the super limited lfo, the fact that you must pay AGAIN if you want connectivity with other gears… I bought it because I wanted something small to carry with me while in holidays or outside, but it’s a bit of a lonewolf in my small home studio.

DT + SP combo is cool because it’s the perfect balance between precision / programming and hands-on / instinctive fun. It has that physicality that lacks a bit when programming only the OT which has menus and shortcuts at every corners.

Yep, I’m a constant victim to that. When thinking about switching a piece of gear for another, I always consider the possibility to transpose my current sound and workflow, but also the possibilities to expand toward other sonic territories… From this point of view, the OT seemed like the perfect machine. Maybe I will connect with it a bit more later along the road.