Where should I begin...?

the OT as well :slightly_smiling_face:


The OT is not that difficult - it’s just got lots of features, is not obvious until you practice and there are many flexible and different ways of using it.

These scare tactics that it’s like some sort of labyrinth enigma wrapped in a puzzle, covered in strange runic symbols and wrapped in a cloak of mystery are way overblown.

If you can drive a car, tie your shoes and navigate a supermarket, you’ll be able to work the OT, right across all its basic functionality.
Getting good at it takes time, like anything.


I mainly dont like being tide down to a computer. Im sitting at work all day long in front of one, and prefer my music will not be dependent on it.

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+1 for Octatrack

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The Octatrack is also my first and only Elektron machine. I’ve used it to loop violin, viola, and guitar. I’ve also played live with it.

Please read Merlin’s guide before buying though. It will help you manage your expectations.

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That concerns me. If your not tied down to one box. Your going to be tied down to another. Music from the OT requires a fair amount of programming.

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If you’re willing to immediately jump in the deep end the answer is certainly Octatrack - if you want to work with live audio input as flexibly as possible no other Elektrons hold a candle to what is possible with OT and MDUW

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or get an MPC Live :slight_smile:

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Cracks me up how many people use DAWs and simultaneously claim how steep the learning curve is.


Who knows every feature in Ableton (or any other DAW)? I don’t know anyone. Nobody wants to know every feature. But everyone starts to create tracks almost right away.
To build some beats and have fun with some samples, you don’t have to learn the OT inside out.
I use it in almost every track and liveset for 5 years now, and I often have no clue about some stuff @sezare56 is talking about regularly :loopy:

any DAW is much more complex…


yeah but once you know one DAW, it’s much easier to learn another. you know what you’re looking for and what you want to accomplish, you just might not know where it’s at; whereas you do it without thinking in another DAW.

if you’ve used Elektron gear before, it’s usually easy to pick up another piece and get going straight away. I’ve done this with multiple boxes, in fact. I feel the OT is the exception to this rule. I’m not saying it’s the most complicated thing ever. but if you’re never used an Elektron box or even a hardware synthesizer/sequencer/sampler/drum machine, it’s going to take some time and focus. that’s all.

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I’m in a similar spot where I like to sample, loop, jam and write tunes with my acoustic guitar. I now have an MPC live and it does well but the OT while I owned one was hands down the most fun I’ve had with an instrument since first learning guitar. Wasn’t difficult getting started and was making noise in minutes. I will be getting one again but promised myself no more gear till next year, would have been easier to quit drinking. What ever you decide you won’t be disappointed with Elektron flow. Good luck.

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Well… I work in an office in front of a computer 40 hours a week. I know when you look really deep into this… hardware is essentially a computer… or at least another box… but the best way I can describe it is when I sit in front of a computer my mind goes into work mode… because I work on one so much.

It’s a state of mind.

Plus I love knobs, switches, playing with signal chains, I’m really hands on & actually enjoy doing things the hard way… to a certain extent (I love a challenge) :stuck_out_tongue:

I have a feeling B.O.A.Z. feels the same when it comes to feeling like he’s working when in front of a computer… or even just wanting to sit in front of something different… a different box…


I had the feeling you didnt want the inten sity of micro managing like as with a computer. But perhaps thats what your into. The work you put in during the week may want you to be more expressive so i would say the Analogue Rhythm may fit the bill better. Just my opinion of course.

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I bought Ableton Live before I bought my Octatrack. I only use Live to add tracks to other people’s mixes. I don’t get on well with computer synths. IOS synths are ok for me - maybe because of the multitouch.

Anyway, after I memorized button combos on the OT, using the knobs and buttons on the OT became a much speedier process. You might get close with the right selection of physical button/knob/whatever controllers for Live or whatever your favorite DAW is. But what’s stuck in my memory is a friendly discussion between my OT hero Anders Bergdahl and fellow Scandinavian who has dedicated his career to live looping with software. For sheer number of features, the software won and would still win today. However, when it comes to speed of operation in setting up LFOs to modulate certain parameters, adjusting params in general, the looping/sampling process, etc. the other guy was unable to keep up with Anders and his OT.

I believe that even though software for making music, producing music, etc. has gotten more and more feature rich and amazing, most us here cannot abandon physical, standalone musical boxes (ie “hardware”) because of how our beloved physical objects inspire us to make music, and facilitate the process.

I remember the OT initially being marketed as Ableton-in-a-box but I’ve never really used it as a clip launcher. I’ve focused a lot more on live looping and mangling of samples extracted from loops.


Really? That’s an interesting choice for a band’s name :smile:

That’s exactly how I feel. As much as I love Ableton, Im really after the feeling of Playing with a musical “instrument”. Off course, a computer is an instrument too, but there is something in the endless possibilities that it offers you, that freezes me a bit. I think that its most likely a generation thing - Im 40 and though not a nostalgic person, I still grew up in an era in which you needed to have a specific object for specific tasks, rather than a multi-purpose box, who can address all your needs. Is that makes any sense?

I had/have both Units, and from my Personal experience i would Always recommend the DT as a beginner Tool. If you need longer pieces and bits, add a looper Pedal Like TC Ditto x4 or a multitracker that can loop (Boss BR800 e.g.) or even Ableton live Looper.
All that feels more of an Instrument than the OT. At least to me.
But however, nothing beats your own experience. Try whatever you Like. You will sooner or Later find Out what works best for you.
Do you have a place to Go to try Out both Units?

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There are 2 guys whose selling each, used. a DT for $850 and an OT MKI for $980. but im not sure how much I’ll be able to really get the feeling of each, under these circumstances.