Who is doing interesting stuff with two Octatracks ?
Really liked this set from maxime.f (France) a few years ago.
Who is doing interesting stuff with two Octatracks ?
Part of the speed was down to their recording process, where they took cues from their live shows, jamming with two Elektron Octatrack sequencers instead of painstakingly painting notes into a grid in Ableton.
Funny coincidence - was thinking the same yesterday about 2 OT’s after seeing one going cheap on Ebay. For my own sanity I thankfully resisted and spent the night with my OT realising two would fry my brain.
Anyway, I’m pretty sure Animal Collective’s Panda Bear works (or at least worked) with two OT’s and I think he’s fantastic. Must see if I can find a video of him using them…
Edit: here’s his studio:
Not watched the whole thing but at 3:46ish you can see him with both OT’s
nice interview . "I’m basically taking stems of the studio recording over seven of the tracks, using the eighth as a master channel. Typically I’ll take drums, bass, weird percussion stuff, weird sound stuff and maybe a main melodic component so I know everything’s set up with that template.
There are two Octatracks, both of which contain the exact same information on the card and I kind of mix from one song to the next. Some nights I do it better than others but it’s essentially DJing the stems of the record.”
I could have 4 Ot with different roles :
So a second Ot would interest me.
Recently picked up a second OT. Its a joy to be able to use one as a drum machine and not feel like I’m wasting tracks or having to resample and lose tweakability. Probability trigs make it really nice for that aswell. Ive made a bunch of 64 sample chains for each track of different drum sounds, kick in t1 snare on t2 and so on for a full kit. builds grooves with a lot of variation rapidly. Treating parts as kits on it
Also two crossfaders is great, doing master effects on drums seperately to melody’s/bass and stuff is fun. Autosaving on two machines, the list goes on. Modulating the other’s parameters/crossfader with no risk of midi feedback, extra outputs and inputs and just general freedom to move and never run out of space, all definitely worth it. Haven’t had both too long and I’m sure there’s plenty more to explore. Its strange to pick up a new piece of gear and not be rushing home to play it cause you already know exactly what it does but it really does open up possibilities. Next I’m gonna try neighbors on every track, 8 outs and reverb plus delay on all tracks and still 2 slots for whatever else. Must say though you need the patience for it, double setup and that
Missed that one, good read. PB meets the grim reaper is one of my favourite anco-related releases. Cool to spot an OP1 in there as well!
Are you still rocking this set up?
I’m thinking of the same–one for drums, and the master fx, and having the extra outs would be just dreamy!
If you don’t, is there a specific reason for getting rid?
I’ve two OT mk2; great combination with outrageous flexibility.
I used to treat each as a separate deck and create tracks on each with some effects from the one not being the main - I like it like that to be honest.
Currently use both to form one track; Octatrack A - Drums; Octatrack B - Vocals, Bass etc.
Having an Allen and Heath DB4 means I can loop parts from each one. That’s the current straightforward setup.
That really does sound very flexible and massive fun!
Using two is great man, highly recommend it. I sold one a while back when I needed money more than a second octatrack. I’d definitely grab one again, I’ve just been satisfied with my setup lately so I haven’t bought anything in a while. The extra outs were a pretty big deal for me, you can do a lot with two. Like I said though you need a bit of patience and good organisation to avoid things devolving into chaos. Plus setting up etc, worked best for me when I dedicated particular tracks to certain things
Cool thanks for this.
I’m seriously considering this set up right now and I can’t see any negatives in it.
Actually I have a follow up if that’s OK?
I’m constantly thinking about putting a master template together, and some for various other functions such as midi control of other kit.
What’s your template situation like?
I got intoxicated briefly by the idea of using two for live improv, one as an instrument, one as a creative mixer/looper. The idea was to think of my modular as one DJ deck and the instrument OT as the other deck, with the other OT gluing the two decks together. Not to mention all the cool things you can do with one OT midi controlling the other (conditional recorder trigs, crossfader lfos, audio track arpeggios, etc). After about 5 days i knew it was too much for my brain to handle. The main reason is that developing a bespoke OT template to the point of maturity, and really exploiting all it has to offer and knowing it through muscle memory is an endeavor that takes time - at least a year if not 2 or 3. I’m only about halfway there for my main mixer/looper/sampler OT after about a year. So adding another OT to the mix in a way that i would feel satisfied with would simply take too long. It’s a bit sad as i feel like its easy to use the OT as an instrument or a mixer/looper/live sampler, but combining the two roles has been a struggle. Ultimately i’m happy with leaning on what’s most unique to the octatrack, which is creative manipulation of live external signals.
sorry man had a hectic week. took forever to respond. when I had 2 i’d use one kind of as a mega hip hop drum machine mostly, sample chains on each track, 4 tracks with a neighbour each for extra FX, kick, snare, hats and open hats on the same track with sample locks and then crash. I dont use crash cymbals often though so a lot of the time i’d just have 8 as a master to be able to do freeze delays on my drums independently. used the lower octatrack to sample and do other shit. just stick to a rough idea of where you generally keep things because its no fun being on some random part on an old project bouncing round the 16 tracks trying to find one sound. theres no visual mixer on OT obviously. I built this case for the two of them with a patchbay for the IO on the side. I was gonna put VU meters in the front and everything but the OT got flipped before I got round to it. one day though.
The template I use most at the moment is just one with all the recorder buffers set to the tracks to just start sampling from the get go. I have no hardware instruments at the moment. I’ve got maschine and the octatrack MIDId up so I can set either as master and I use maschines inputs and a Scarlett 18i8 as an aggregate device. Turntable and cassette player and VHS player stay on the same inputs permanently and master outputs go into the octatrack then I just solo maschine tracks as I sample them. Launchpad next to that for extra pads and a komplete kontrol mk2 if I want keys. its a great setup with insane flexibility and tons of inputs so it obviously delayed my desire for another OT right now
Thanks for getting back to me.
Thay does sound like a very simple way to get the most out your set up, leaving you with plenty of options.
Me and a guy I do some music stuff with have a gig in Sept, and I started on a template for that over the weekend, sorting the midi patterns etc. It’s got me thinking about purpose built templates a bit more and I’m getting some ideas around setting up a few templates. I do have everything going in to the OT already, so I could sample on the fly but I think its useful to have a set up like you mentioned for when I’m building full tracks.
I definitely can relate. But you should perhaps consider a Digitone. Apart from being a cool synth (especially since the last FW update) you get an extra Elektron sequencer that’ll allow you to do most of the tricks you mention like triggering recordings on th OT conditionally. The DN saves BPM per pattern, which is cool, that’s why it’s my master device. It can p-lock program changes too… All in all, quite an enhancement for a reasonable price and a much easier learning curve.