Are you ? Afraid about the Octatrack… DON’T !
I would like to tell you something…
You not necessarily have to see the OT as complexe device
You can use basic functionality it still the perfect device to provide you more on Loop, Chain, Groove, Effects that cannot provided by others (AR, A4, MD, MnM, AH) i see the AR more useful on one-shots, not so much with Loops (at least to me) so if you occult “Live” aspect i mean Time notion wise, and you see the OT as a dynamic sampler to root your audio and control some piece of gear aside with midi, the OT became more THE easiest device…
The OT is not HARD to LEARN…
it can do A LOT it’s not the same
So when people want to master it fully…
that’s where they lost themselves at the beginning because the learning curve appears to be HUGE. But guess what DON’T DO THAT.
OT can be really simple, like very easy but exploration territory will be infinite then. Don’t be afraid, be satisfied… as the futur of this device in your setup will be infinite as well. that’s how i think about it.
Edit : I would like to post there and you could read the original in this post a little lower, what @andreasroman wrote on this Topic because it’s very well written
Written by Andreas Roman (http://www.andreasroman.com)
(All credits come to him)
To anyone approaching the Octatrack, I’d like to say this:
It’s not a complex instrument. It’s not difficult to learn. Nor is it difficult to master. All it takes, is time.
This is not unique for the Octatack, but for any skill you want to learn, in any trade or craft. To understand something and get good at it, you need to put in the time. There are no exceptions to this rule.
In our day and age, we’ve come to believe that there are short cuts and quick fixes to good results. An app, a plug-in, a workflow, a hardware interface. This is not true, especially not within the creative arts. But some interfaces are deceptively easy to get into, thereby creating the illusion that they provide a faster way to quality results. They do not. They just provide another way.
The Octatrack, in this regard, is traditional in that it’s obvious right from the start that you need to put in the time to learn it.But it does’t require more time than learning the piano, or the guitar, or mixing, or composing, or the Analog Four, or the Prohet-6, or playing the harmonica, or learning kung fu, or learning to read and write.
But it’s no different from anything else. If you’re serious about it, prepare to invest the time. If not, don’t bother. You’ve probably got more important things to do with your time then, and you should do that, instead. But this is true for anything you do in life. It’s just very obvious with an instrument that offers up its deep nature right from the get go. And we might think that’s intimidating. But it’s not. It’s just a reminder that even today, if you want to learn something and get good at it, you need to invest time in it. And that’s all you need.
And I can guarantee you, it will be worth the time. I’ve not met a single musician who wouldn’t benefit from learning the Octatrack. That’s not to say you won’t write great music and never touch an Octatrack. Paul Simon’s done quite well without it. So has Jean-Michel Jarre, and Daft Punk, and Mozart did okay, too, back in the days. But just imagine if Mozart did have an Octatrack. Oh, man.
If you do decide to learn it, you will create things that no other instrument will allow you to do. It’s that good. It’s that unique. It will be worth it.
I second all the advise that you should approach it feature by feature. You don’t need a clear idea of what you want to do with it, when you learn it. When learning the piano, you first play with one hand. Then two. You play music other people wrote. First easy songs. Then, more complex songs. You move from just two fingers to chords. You move from 16ths to triplets. You move from Adagios to Allegros. You move from Allegros to Prestos. Then, you explore complex harmonics. From C Major to G# Minor. The Octatrack is the same.
If there’s a step one with the Octatrack, it’s Elektron’s demo mode. As described in the manual, once you’ve acquired your Octatrack, fire up the demo mode and just get to know the instrument from there. That is where you will know what next step is most important to you. But I second everyone here that says, take it step by step. First, one finger. Then, two. Then, chords. Then, allegros. Then, prestos. Changes in key. And so on. But always first - just the one finger. The Octatrack’s equivalent to this is the demo mode, and just triggering samples on track. That’s your first finger.
You can be 75 years old or just a kid. You can be a drummer or a DJ, a teacher or a fire fighter, a nurse or a taxi driver, a CEO or just fired from his factory. As long as you’ve got music, the Octatrack will offer you something. You will learn to trigger tracks, to sample sources, to resample, to transition, to build songs, to use scenes, to work the fx, to use the cues, to work with the MIDI sequencer. There is nothing you won’t understand, comprehend or master, in time.
Because time is all you need. And you need to want to put that in.
If there’s anything you’d rather do than invest your time in learning the Octatrack, you should do that. But if you’ve got a slot in your busy or slow or hectic or downtempo life that you can reserve for music, and you want to assign that slot to learning the Octatrack, then it will reward you back.