Tutorial using elektron sequencer for controlling external gear

Hi everyone?

Anyone know of a good tutorial online showing how to use e.g. the octatrack sequencer (or digi/analogfour for that matter) for controlling external gear?

Saw many videos on how to set it up, but what I need is a good tutorial on how to play notes in with a midikeyboard, and master the timing, max polyphony (4 notes I believe) and sequencer/pattern length, etc…

Hope to hear your recommendations!

Watched this one today. Covers the basic pretty good and should get you going.

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thanks man, gonna check it out

Nice video, but not so much on the stuff I struggle with sometime, that is live inputting midi in the octatrack with an external keyboard, and timing issues, longer sequences, etc

If you want to place MIDI notes in the Sequencer, hold down a Trig and play the note(s) on your MIDI Keyboard. I assume that you have a MIDI Keyboard connected to the MIDI IN of the OT.

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how do you guys control the length of a chord played? do you use the length setting in the octatrack for that trig? or the release in the envelope?

Honestly, although it does a great job with mono synths, I find the OT too cumbersome for Poly sequencing. The digitone is the best elektron for that purpose. But I believe you are correct that setting the length is the way to create longer notes.


So OT doesn’t have a ‘live recording’ mode like Model:Cycles ?

It does have live recording, but as far as I understand, if you’re not super precise about pressing all the notes of your chord at exactly the same time, it doesn’t register the notes to the sequence properly.

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What do you mean master the timing?

Max ‘polyphony’ is 4 notes per step per track. If you think like an Elektron, this means you can have 4 notes on one step but not anwhere else, so be mindful of that. Good for precise chord stabs, but not for articulating chords. You can cheat that by using more than one midi track for the same polysynth.

Also I believe as of OS1.4 octatrack now records note length as part of a midi sequence. Very handy, but I could be mistaken, I haven’t spent much time with OS1.4

What do you mean sequencer pattern length? It works exactly the same as it does on the audio tracks.

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yes, I’ve come to realise this. So no ‘strumming’ chords, and no overlapping notes. and only 4 notes, exactly on 1 step. So this in my eyes makes it a pretty lousy sequencer for polyphonic sequences indeed… no tutorial needed then, I just need another sequencer haha. Luckily I also have a NDLR.

Does the digitone work differently? I know it has 8 notes per step, but does it also lack the strumming/overlapping options?

Depends on your definition of ‘polyphonic sequencing’

Yes it works differently, does allow for some strumming. However… be aware. ALL Elektrons, always have been, step sequencers

If you want free linear sequencing, look elsewhere.

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I, for one, would be interested in a couple of pointers to manufacturers or devices that don’t have this limitation. I’m researching moving on from my model:cycles and up till now I hadn’t considered that a polyphonic sequencer might have this limitation.

Not a limitation. just a difference.
Step sequencers are exactly that, the sequence is divided into steps, and those steps are where events happen.
Linear sequencers don’t work like that (think abletons timeline) Akai MPCs work like this.

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I’ve not used one myself, but I believe the Deluge is good for this. Squarp Pyramid is another great option.

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