Struggling to begin with OT

Yep :slight_smile:

Think of a part as a “kit”, which contains all of your sound settings—sample slot assignments/parameters, FX assignments/parameters, and scenes.

With Model:Samples you get one “kit” per pattern, which has the benefit of being able to have completely different sound settings per pattern.

On the OT, you get 4 parts per bank. This means that your sound settings apply to all patterns within that bank that are assigned to the same part.

With parts, there is the limitation that you can’t have each pattern in a bank have completely different sound settings (unless you’re very thorough with parameter locks), but you do have the flexibility of being able to make a few variation patterns (ie. different trig data in the sequencer), all using the same part, and thus be able to change sound settings and have all of the other patterns follow.


you don‘t need parts or banks to slice up amen breaks and do crazy stuff to it.
Learn how to slice, which is pretty straightforward, apply lfo‘s and scenes to parameters and have fun. Use the crossfader.

Parts will start to make sense when you really need them :slightly_smiling_face:


Most of the features on the OT are there if you want to use them. Part 1 is enough for a lot of people and as a beginner i wouldn’t bother with changing Parts till you get used to the more relevant features.

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Take it slow. Practice each new technique you learn a few times in isolation.

Have project just for learning, even a project just for learning one technique. Consciously aim to fill it with sketches and failed experiments.

Get a small library of ready made one-shots, loops, drones/pads representing the kinds of sounds you hope to make tracks with, and make a bunch of demos/sketches using some of those sounds. This is so you can learn to fit the techniques you practiced earlier into some ready-made sounds, and to learn how to make “beats” or “tracks” using the mixer and FX without having to worry about making new samples too (except for maybe jamming on a new trick you learned).


Thank you guys, your answers are really helping!

I was thinking about structuring the songs with samples that contain 64 different bass growls, hits, drums etc… and slice them up to have a relatively big kit to perform with static machines. Maybe spice them with random lfo’s and use locks as well.

Did you read the “merlin’s guide”? That is the conceptual overview that the official manual is missing, imo

EDIT: with the added bonus of being SHORT
(EDIT2: coming from A4/AR the parts are kits argument makes perfect sense to me.)

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If I can add one piece of advice: If you’re serious about keeping it, try to do something on it every day. Even if it’s just for 5 minutes, try to learn some simple feature or just jam on something. In my experience, if I stop using it, I end up selling it and then a year later I just end up buying another one. So yeah, every day. It wants to be played.


Great advice! Thank you. Makes sense. I have a notebook of “small tasks” to try with OT. Today I added my first scenes to the drone thing I made the other day. Loving that cross fader. I was never a cool kid DJ and I felt pretty effin’ cool sliding that cross fader.


I’ve slacked off the last two evenings. My OT is now giving me the side-eye from its table, next to where I WFH.



Learn the OT deeply. Even if you eventually decide to use other Elektron devices in the future you will laugh at how simple they are in comparison to OT (in a sinister, Dr. Evil kind of way). I went M:S -> M:C -> OT -> DN and the DN seemed so easy.

Start with a blank Bank every session to avoid Parts confusion for now. Load and slice your break. Write pattern. Make scene locks and play with them. Play with and p-lock RTRG, RTIM for ratcheting. Learn what all the parameters in SRC and AMP do. You already know the sequencer and p-locks so you’re ahead there.

Do this every day for months. Wax on wax off. Paint the fence. Sand the floor.


fnarr fnarr

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Also don’t get too down on yourself for having to take it slow.

I’ve tried to look at the OT as more of an instrument that has to be learned like a guitar or piano, rather than looking at it like a production tool where other experience quickly translates.

You won’t be able to crank out a rocking performance in the first few months the same way you can’t crank out a guitar solo in as little time learning to play the guitar.

The OT has a lot of capabilities, and in those capabilities you will develop your own stylistic choices and sound. That’s where the power is, and it comes from gradual development, practice, and exploration. In the end, it’s worth it, because the result is an individualized expression that is very rewarding.


An alternate way to learn the OT is to start by treating it as a mixer. Plug two pieces of gear into it and set up some THRU machines. Set up parts for different FX, set up scenes to control FX and transitions.

When you have that working, make it MIDI clock master and start sequencing or clocking the other gear from the OT. Then change your thru machines to flex machines and start live sampling / resampling the parts. Now it’s a looper with the ability to mangle the loops.

Doing it this way let’s you ignore what I consider to be the least inspiring part of the OT (sample management and editing)


Re: File converter, I’ve been down that rabbit hole last year, reading through threads here. Many options but I settled on Mediahuman Audio Converter and I like it a lot. Super simple to batch drag and drop, set it to stereo 44.1K 24bit and hit convert. Done in a second or two. It’s free.


Parts didn’t quite make sense to me at first but it’s actually pretty easy to get your head around - If you do the following as a test you’ll more than likely get it right away >

create a pattern you like however you want on pattern 1
pattern 1 / part 1 is auto assigned
copy pattern 1 to pattern 2
copy part 1 to part 2 and assign part 2 to pattern 2
tweak and or change whatever you want on pattern 2 and depending on your changes you’ll hear whether or not it works by moving between pattern 1 to pattern 2. Copy 2 to 3 and 3 to 4 to go further.

It’s much easier to copy parts across and make more subtle changes to begin with so that you can move from and to for example parts 1 >2 >3 >4 >3 >2 >1 across patterns.

If you don’t copy parts across and your settings in each part are wildly different you will end up with a huge mess because the OT isn’t intelligent enough to ‘smooth’ things out for you. Copying parts over as a progression will therefore save you the headache of remembering settings on different patterns.

Maybe this seems really obvious but it took me a few failed attempts at using parts to realise copying them over is the key to good, dynamic and interesting transitions so I hope this helps a little. Parts can be very powerful and are well worth using - especially if you’re playing live.


So far, I’ve only used Parts as “the kit (track+machine configuration) for a new piece of music” rather than for “variations in the same track”. So your description is useful to me as a “new way to use the OT”. Thanks!

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THis is a great idea. I will give it a try!

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You’ve gotten a lot of advice from people telling you to persist with it, so I’ll make the case against that. Coming from someone who owns both a Digitakt and an Octatrack mk2, I’d suggest upping your game to a Digitakt. Much more immediate than the OT, and many more times capable than the Model Samples.

You’ve got the sampling ability, plus you can use the DT as a soundcard and record direct to your computer. Effects are awesome and the new update has greatly increased it’s value if you want to run external gear through it and apply it’s effects.


yeah my first reaction too. Sell it, try something different. You might come back to it, you might not. It’s important to try few things around until it fits.

I’m learning the OT now and I’ll keep going with it forever, but it fit with my mind and I love what it can offer, but I moved from the tenori-on to the mpc-1000 to the novation circuit, to the electribe to the digitackt, and finally the OT was what I was looking.

Anyway, move around quickly at first, then you’ll learn how you want to use a device.

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On top of “learning everyday” I highly recommend the following if you are comfortable with the idea: use the same project but make a new song with your new skills in the same bank once a week.

Start getting creative and see how far you can push a single pattern too! Parts and Scenes will become very important here.

I learned the most this way. I still have a long way to go.

For example: something you learned 3 weeks ago no longer exists because it didn’t carry over. You re-learn over time and it really sticks. Constantly recycling skills and learning new ones.

A little extreme… :upside_down_face: