Thoughts about music making n OT


Hmm, sounds to me like you need to dig deeper. Forget that amurrican brostep and get into some ”proper” UK dubstep.


Isn’t burial said to be closer to the original uk dubstep?


yes, although burial also leans a bit towards a more garage sound


I’m trying to get into the OT for the second time and this thread is giving me inspiration to keep pushing my small brain. Many thanks to the op and all the replies x


I’ve had a few friends and acquaintances who worked at Akai over the years (it’s a pretty big employer where I am), and the consensus was that they hadn’t made a good product since at least the MPC1000. I know one guy who writes off everything after the MPC3000becasue thy got so many complaints from professionals who moved from the 3000 to the 2000 and couldn’t deal with the looser internal timing - post MPC 3000 the sequencer timing isn’t sample accurate, so if you layer two identical sounds you get phase cancellation (that was a common technique on the 3000 for fattening up drum samples). I like the 2000 a lot regardless, and it’s internal timing is comparable to the Octatrack (which is already better than average for a hardware sequencer) so it’s good enough for me.

Personally I think older MPC style machines (the Ensoniq stuff would probably be just as good) and the Octatrack compliment each other really well, they both have very different strengths and fill in a lot of each other’s gaps.


I was getting that for a while, and also randomly changed parameters when reloading a saved project, after the OT got very cold (below -17C) in a car for a few hours when I was traveling during a bad cold snap back in December. Reformatted the CF card (a good quality aftermarket one recommended by a lot of users on here, don’t feel like pulling it out now to check the exact type, either a Kingston or a SanDisk of some kind), reformatting in the OT didn’t help and reformatting with the standard Window format command didn’t help but using a low-level CF format tool (either Neowin USB Disk Storage Format Tool 5.0 or Ridgecrop GUI Format, I forget which - tried both but one of them consistently hung at 99%) did the job and I haven’t had any trouble since. I backed up my card first and ended up only losing three or four files in a couple of projects that had been corrupted and were giving me the parse errors.

Samples Mysteriously Change Upon Reload
Noob questions

Thinking about it now, when I’m working with slices (rather than individual hits of some kind) in the MPC I’d say at least 2/4 of the time I turn velocity sensitivity off because I feel like it showcases the internal dynamcs of whatever I sampled better if all of the slices are played at the same level more often than not.

On the OT, I always find it a bit harder to get the timing really tight because of the long travel of the buttons compared to pads, there’s almost a sort of mechanical latency built in (and you don’t want to really bang hard on the trig buttons like on MPC pads because it’s not that comfortable and they weren’t really designed to withstand a lot of that over a lot of years). But it doesn’t double trigger like on the MPC2000/2000xl, I’m sure if I fingerdrummed on the OT as much as I have on the 2k I’d adjust to the feel of the trig buttons just like I learned to play on the MPC pads without double triggering.

Point being they’re both different, valid tools but to a large degree it’s down to practicing the physical aspects of playing. Look at those David Haynes HR-16 finger drumming videos that have been on Youtube for ages, for example. I had an HR-16 for years and believe me, those are just about the most unpleasant, unmusical pads you could possibly ask for (although still velocity sensitive - it’s just not very even) and he’s pulling a lot of expression out of them, whether you like the music or not.

Even working entirely ITB there’s a lot more physicality to making music than I think people tend to realize. The OT is certainly a very physical machine in my opinion, just in a different way from a pad-based workstation or drum machine like it usually gets compared to.

That turned into kind of a long ramble but I have to get to work so it’s going to have to stay as-is.


In regards to unquantized live performance:

The OT is a “step dependent machine”. It’s whole operation is focused around it’s step sequencer. Very different than MPC at the core.
Its more like a sampling TR/TB than a traditional sampler, be it an Akai, emu, ensoniq or anything else for that matter.

You have a small number of steps per cycle (64 max) to deal with.

Its the equivalent of cubism in painting. Fairly primitive in this aspect, But who to say you cant get creative with limitations?

Another big thing to be aware of is it’s not recording “length of note”, i.e “note off”.
There is no musical expression with disregard to note length. So another major problem in the live aspect.

I know you can tweak to some extent after the fact, but then its not a live performance anymore.

Its extremely low resolution compared to the human feel. We are far from being restricted to 64 steps per cycle in the way we feel things. It does have a 1/138 note micro quantizing but you can still only have up to 64 appearances in a cycle.
Its more of a robotic aesthetic if you will.

Thats why i belive its made for long samples of pre produced music, that contain the feel in it already, and does not need to be programmed from scratch on tne OT, Or a Techno type thing where 8th and 16th notes are the building blocks.

MPC is not limiting you to nothing audible as far as the smallest subdivision and number of appearances per cycle(vs. 64 in OT- the resolution is so high and your not limited to number of steps). And it records the lengths as well- very important.
It is dependant only on your playing skills on the pads. Different world really.

In my opinion, the parameter locks and scenes are the single biggest advantage of OT.
And for people coming from TR/TB world, this indeed feels like home.

Im not even gonna go into its being an 8 part monophonic sampler…(no polyphony already puts it in a category different to most samplers on the market)


Double or quadruple the tempo to fit more steps into a pattern. Be creative or complain. I prefer being creative.

I can make music on almost anything though, and I enjoy making music with different things.


You still get 64 notes per cycle no matter what you do.
I was merely outlining the way it operates and its limitations.
Save the preaching for your children. Im not one of them.


I apologize. This conversation isn’t for me, and I foolishly reacted unnecessarily. I’ll avoid this thread again so you guys can carry on with your conversation.


Yeah you only get 64 steps but with resampling and dividing tempo you can basically accomplish anything . Resampling, that’s the key. If you don’t resample it’s probably not for you…


Plus you can chain patterns and do even more pattern magic with the Arranger.


You can many things, but on the MPC all you have to do is press Rec+Play.

Now count how many things you have to do in the OT to get to the same result,

Different horses for different courses… The OT is not made for Live programming,. Its great for mailing and post processing. Use the right tool for the job and get a lot done in less time…:wink:


You have to press as many patterns as you want in a chain and press record. For some this is not a live programming killer.


That isn’t the killer perhaps, but no immediate quantize types, no note length recording, and pads that are self evident for not being performance pads but rather data entry pads, tell the purpose and story of this machine that is indeed amazing in other tasks indeed


its a sampling TR/TB in essence


I don’t know how the presense of pads screams live programming machine, but I’m sure there are a lot of things the MPC doesn’t do which one would consider essential for live programing.


All you have to do is program two or three or whatever mono synth tracks then resample. Not so hard and deff not impossible like you suggest. You probably shouldnt try and persuade people to not use the OT when your view is limited due to your creativity


If you look to close at one area of a picture it just looks like pixels, if you step back and look from a broader perspective the image can be seen…

By searching the forum one can read countless examples of the OT being misunderstood, underestimated, or approached from the wrong angle, often by folks who’ve had one for years. I wouldn’t try to sum up the OT without several years of experimenting/practicing/researching the machine… Looking at the OT from narrow angles doesn’t do it justice, after putting in time and effort a more holistic view can be seen that puts all of the pieces together and reveals what the OT can truly do…