Surgeon Q&A

I’m a big fan of Surgeon and definitely vibe on the OT+modular since that’s my approach. Love his thoughts about limitations.

Anyway, I figured others might find some value in this video.

Oops, I guess it can’t be embedded. Oh well.


Been looking for this, cheers for posting it!

Big Tony uses an Octatrack in his live rig but he “doesn’t really like it” :slight_smile:


You disqualified yourself for not knowing the almighty Surgeon.


Thanks for the share, that was interesting! Using a modular in such a “self-imposed limits” way makes alot of sense to me. Perhaps I should look into modular again…

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Disqualified from a boot-licking contest. Ok fine. Thank you.

Surgeon’s music is decent, remember some of his stuff from the nineties - no offense but I don’t do celebrity cult.


Who is MichalHo?


Yeah, I think he admitted that while he doesn’t like the OT particularly, there’s nothing else that quite does what it can within one box. So, while he doesn’t like it - it serves a function :slight_smile:

Tsutek, I think that route for modular is the only way I can go since I’m a schoolteacher without much money, but I also think it serves as a proper instrument that way. I get the appeal of super giant modulars and trading things in and out, but it would destroy my productivity and I think it’s a serious financial drain as well of endless ‘baseball card collecting’ or something. I want to make music still.

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Ha, there’s a lot of space between boot-licking and respecting an artist. I’m glad we have a diversity of tastes though, the world sure would be boring otherwise.


Good Q&A…Thanks.

Not heard him since he switched from ableton&modular into this…

Must look for a recent live set.

I am also preparing a set like this at the moment and thought about getting an Octatrack to solve my three problems I currently have:

  1. no mixer
  2. some FX
  3. Looping my modular system

I use Ableton for this but it would be nicer to keep the computer, interface and controller at home. I remember the Octatrack to be a bit difficult to control for live looping, does anyone have a good tutorial video for that besides the ones from Elektron? I would like to see some serious live action and no “we plug our guitar in and have a tea” vids. This has to work in a loud and dark club with bad monitoring.

looping on the OT is dead simple if you have sync:

  1. enter a oneshot recorder trig to a flex track assigned to capture your source, or arm an existing oneshot rec trig
  2. enter a playback trig on any flex track that reads the rec buffer of step 1. You can even do this prior to capturing into buffer of step 1


when you have set thing up this way, all you need to do is press YES to recapture a new loop to replace the old one… Good stuff! You can also use the pickup machines, but IMO they are way less flexible, although they offer simple overdubbing (if that kinda thing is important to you…). I never use the pickup machines myself tho.


Just another chap making music who uses OT live and “really likes his Octatrack”


It was a really interesting Q&A but I wish they’d actually mic’d Surgeon up so that it was possible to hear him talk over the music when it was playing - and had given a mic to the audience members when they asked questions too.

Otherwise it was pretty useful. I’ve been using an EHX 2880 looper synched via MIDI recently, but need to do some more work on recording new loops on the fly - this video provided some tangential inspiration for that at least.

Surgeon’s observation that it’s far easier to keep an audience interested in the more experimental side of electronic sound mangling live is definitely something that I’ve encountered when performing.


Calm down dude. I was kidding.

Easybruh. I overreacted to his OT-‘dis’. Don’t misunderstand me, Surgeon makes some fine music.

All good m8. While i really appreciate most of Tony’s stuff, I can’t follow him since he went down the modular road. Doesn’t sound like Surgeon to me anymore.

But each to their own I guess.

He doesn’t like it, it’s just a main part of his performance rig… :smile:

My favourite type of chap