Stuck in loops


How do I do a trigless trig in this scenario?

Sorry, I meant one-shot trig.
The kind that get activated by hitting yes.
Or you can use a FILL trig condition, but I tend to use one-shot trigs with OT, an old habit.

I have only used the arranger once (been using Elektron machines since 2007). On OT doing EBM pop to be performed live. It worked alright, but it is another level of abstraction that makes the machine even more cerebral for me. And it took a whole day programming 4 songs from already made patterns.

However, I read again and again that some love the arranger, so I guess I am missing something. Please share more about how you work with it.

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Copy and paste the pattern and delete something, anything. Add something, anything. See what happens.


I use it for more abstract music ( glitch and such) where I basically cut up a patterns and give sections different tempos, mute states, scenes etc. you can really go wild with it. But yes it as another layer for sure… but for me that is how I get out of loops with the Octatrack.


All my trigs are like this. :laughing:


Turn off the loop and think about how you want to change it, program it, hit play to see if it works. Rinse and repeat.

I have ADHD too. Once a good friend told me the most useful thing I’ve ever heard:

“You have ADHD? Use it. It’s a weapon.”


It’s a superpower with a limited window of opportunity. God knows when that window will open; sometimes it opens with a little careful prying. But when it does…


It’s definitely harder after trying to fit into conventional areas for so long, trying to figure out how to work with it creatively over battling.

Make Pattern 1
Copy Pattern 1
Paste Pattern 1 to Pattern 2
Change Pattern 2


Intro/Verse/Pre-chorus/Chorus or refrain/Post-chorus/Bridge/Outro

mix and match to taste.


So I struggle with same thing as OP. I do the copy paste to new pattern. Have the idea of the change I want to make in my head. But I can’t get it out. I hear cool drum tricks/rolls what have you. Try to get it out, struggle, lose interest and then jam on initial loop, record and delete loop in frustration.

How does one extract the music in their head without losing the idea in frustration not being able to get the idea out?

find another hobby?


F no. Keep the faith / struggle.

I would pick up your phone, beatbox into the voice recorder, turn off the loop and then mentalize how you would get there.

Try to see if you can edit your takes into something cohesive. “…everything that precedes editing is merely a way of producing film to edit.” Kubrick


yeah I struggle with this too. not ADHD, the stuck loop thing. especially with the OT. with synths and a sequencer, I can usually turn a few elements off and kick out a new melody that would be cool to change to. then take the synths I turned off and try to see what they have to add against that new melody, what a new drum beat sounds like, etc. keep doing that until I’ve got a big chunk of melodies and beats and then I can just start seeing if changing between them works. but for some reason, that doesn’t work when I’m using just the OT. I can rarely ever write that transition melody or part that inspires the rest to change. maybe if I wrote more straightforward techno or house it would; then it’s mainly adding parts and taking them away, with minor tweaks here and there. not entire melodic changes; more subtle changes.


Interesting take on the problem with loops by Zack Steinkamp:

Its simple, but not simple to implement if you don’t focus.

Make a cool pattern, the minute you are happy with it copy it. Then on the copy erase one of the tracks, using the same sound make another sequence, when happy copy that, change something else, continue with this process of quick pattern creation/mutation until you have 4-8 patterns.

Play back the patterns and think what comes next, maybe it is more patterns, maybe it is just using mutes, maybe it is arranging.

You just have to listen and focus, it isn’t easy, but it gets easier the more you do it - like riding a bike or whatever.

Or, fuck all that, hit record and start jamming with your 1 pattern. If you fuck up, who cares, you can edit that out after.

I don’t have a diagnosis for my noggin, but I am definitely “on the spectrum” I don’t care what it is called, it doesn’t matter to me. But I’m old so I’m used to it, don’t let anything hold you back, be determined.


I try to embrace the idea that there is no such thing as an abstract, ideal sound/pattern/melody existing independently of the act of interacting with an instrument (or at least your vocal chords). In this sense, music comes out of an encounter, not purely out of the musician’s mind. This requires a high degree of intimacy and familiarity with an instrument, whether it is a flute, a drum, or a particular synthsizer.


You can also think about what a pattern is. A set of notes in a specific sequence. A new pattern should be either new notes in that sequence or a new sequence of notes.

Ok. So. If one pattern has all you need (or that’s what you’re happy with at the moment), considering just jamming - muting and unmuting track. Easy. Fun.

During that process above you might hear what’s missing. That’s when you’d make a new pattern to add the missing pieces.

Mute/unmute is your friend


I love that. You can be vastly and astonishingly skilled and experienced at your instrument- and you’ll still have those magical happy accidents that end up making the whole piece