Underwhelmed by the Octatrack Mk2, looking for advice!


OT’s FX sound better than the MPC Live’s. I know you didn’t ask that, but for some context.


Actually, that does help put things into perspective.


Yeah, would be interested to hear that, I have an OB-6


Alright, here it is!

So I’ve taken 3 different sounds: A kick sound and high hat loop from my Taznbar, and then an arpeggiated bass sound from the SEM pro. Each folder in the ZIP has 3 files in random order. One of the files is the unaltered sound from the source. Another file is that same sound, but transferred via USB to the OT Mk2 and played (time stretch off, 24 bit). The last file is a “wildcard” where I’ve done something to one of the files, or not, to trip you up.

I did my best to get the volumes pretty close to one another, so hopefully it isn’t too obvious which s which. Personally I found myself forgetting which was which and I had to check a little cheat sheet I made.

Let me know what your thoughts are! I’ll post back with the results after people have weighed in. Also feel free to use these samples in your music if you want.


haha, don’t think I’m too good at judging, they all sound soo close to me.


Same. I looked at the waveforms. 1 is stereo. 2 are mono. The waveforms are shaped slightly different but when using my ears it’s mostly too subtle to matter to me.


Also if you want me to test any more sounds let me know

Right sorry about that one, I should have made sure those were all mono, hopefully that doesn’t give anything away. Could either of you guess which ones are which?


I’m guessing the stereo file is OT. Other than that, I’m not sure. I noticed what seemed to be some low pass filter effects on one of the bass synths but I’m not totally sure. I’m really curious about direct sampling, myself. My MKII should be here late next week. I’m going to do some tests as well.


I figure the inputs , with the added headroom, should be a similar result, not ready to test them yet though.


I love the OTs effects, especially when you stack neighbor tracks and put a lot of work into scenes.


Seems highly unlikely that there is any conversion from 24 to 16 bit because the DSP used in the octatrack (Freescale DSPB56721AG) is 24-bit. They wouldn’t save anything except sample ram by truncating the lower 8 bits.


Even though I’m completely happy with the OTmk2, I find it hard to understand why companies like Elektron don’t just use the best converter chips available. I’m pretty sure the better chips don’t cost that much more considering the price they sell the OT for. Maybe I’m wrong.


One could buy op amps for 50 cent, 5€, 25€, now multiply that with 100.000 … or more.


Agreed. On their own on used on the “wrong” type of sound they can sound a bit weak - I’m looking at the reverbs here (other than Dark) - but with a bit work and experimentation they can sound great.

It was mentioned above that they were better than the MPC Live’s FX. I would argue that they are just about on a par. The Live has some useful stock FX that I had a lot of fun with but nothing that sounded as nice as the OT’s dark reverb (my favourite FX by far).

Part of the issue with the OT’s FX is with some of the non intuitive ways the settings are set up. Once you learn how to use them though they become very useful.



Yes and OTmk1, let alone mk2 being digital should have digital outputs bypassing the DAC altogether


I find most audio processing is hard to judge as good or bad. I think listeners respond mostly to change. I always like the ‘sound’ of reverb and delay being switched off, going to dry - so I’m always fighting the ‘natural’ conclusion that dry is better for my material.

The OT has scenes on a crossfader so it has that potential for dynamism. Great for creating fresh material. Perhaps more of a struggle when using OT fx for getting a mix on material which doesn’t need any more dynamism…


Personally, I don’t recommend it. I did it too, and the sound improvement is 0,001% and the risk to damaging the machine is too big.


my take:


  1. original
  2. OT
  3. original


  1. original
  2. OT
  3. OT


  1. OT
  2. original
  3. OT


I understand this statements.

if we consider an orchestra with sections. Of course we do not like all the instruments in the same way and could classify them in a subjective order of taste. However, the magic of the whole can operate if the music is good and in this case each instrument get its place and its importance.

So it’s a matter of the Man behind the machine to make the most of it, in the whole setup.