who uses 100% OT, if not what are your favourite uses?


hey everyone, bit of a general question here but just curious as to how many people are making tracks 100% inside the octatrack and how many people tend to use it as a control surface for loops etc made on the laptop/other devices?

by making tracks 100% inside octatrack, i mean you sample stuff (synth/drum hits/whatever) straight into the OT, and then do all the production and arrangement inside the box

(+if you dont do that, what do you use it for in your production setup)



I guess in almost all cases its neither that black or white. It all comes down to the specific details of a project. Some stuff is just much easier to prepare in a DAW (for example: chromatic sample chains) or within a fullblown audio editor (for example: adding microfades to at the start and end of samples or slices, audio cleanups etc.pp.).

Of course most of the mentioned examples above can also be accomplished on the OT directly, but the process is normally much slower. That’s fine with a couple of samples, but at some point I’ll definitely switch to the computer.


Doing anything 100% on OT sounds like hell to me. Depends on the composition I guess. I’ve done a couple compositions on OT since having it: One was a series of minimalist, Terry Riley esque loops that I wanted to come in and out–OT was a great place for that, using MIDI out for my MnM and recording arps, filter sweeps, etc.

Another was far more annoying than it should have been lol. I basically wanted to record (timed) feedback delay of a chord and had a hell of a time getting it right. If I did it in a DAW it would’ve been way quicker.

Idk. I kind of contradicted my opening statement lol. Just yesterday I made a composition that used all Arturia plug-ins and I was able to get the whole thing written (NOT four bar loops, which is a big hindrance to my compositional workflow tbh) very quickly just using Fairlight presets and plug-ins.

Just depends what you make… Guess you need to know what tool fits the job. I still like writing pieces with just a piano–no bar lines or loops or nothing


Thought I never would as I am one of these types that likes to track everything into the daw, so I can do what I like with each segment, however (cliché warning) with the limitations of the OT, I have found that I’ve made more itb tracks that I expected.

It’s definitely down to the performance side of things–stacking scenes etc. And it also helps me keep the length of tracks down as well.
I may do some micro edits in the daw, but it’s minimal.


I made a whole track in the OT and it drove me nuts. The arranger is powerful but hard to read.

But for quickly experimenting, and for combining sounds it’s the best.

At the moment I’m recording, mangling, and designing songs with the Octatrack, and then moving the parts into a DAW to arrange them.

There’s a lot of back and forth, too. I go back and rework stuff in the Octatrack.


I start alot of ideas on the OT that I then feed to my Push 2 and structure and mix it in Ableton. The tediousness of being an OT only artist isn’t really worth it. Unless you’re at Aphex level of patience/genius. But even still, if you want people online to hear it, and hear it well, its gotta go into a DAW at some point IMO


Truth be told I should just use only OT and get rid of everything else except a laptop as a sound source.

Will I ever have that sort of sense?


not 100% internal to OT but it’s the heart of my writing process. all midi and midi-to-cv sequencing is done there. sampling from modulars and synths without midi or cv get dumped into there (and usually chopped and re-sampled). it’s the clock source for other Elektron boxes and cv sequencers. I tried writing with just the OT before. it just wasn’t me. I hit walls quickly and would just get discouraged and give up. I’m just not a 100% samples kind of guy.


Well, I am just celebrating one year of octatracking. :wine_glass:
My first use was the OT as a backing track machine for a couple of live shows with my band (5 people, 2 guitars, bass, drums and singer with the OT and the occasional op1) and that worked out pretty much as we hoped.
Then I started using the OT to revisit and develop some ideas I had in the computer and that’s been working out really nicely and indeed I now have quite a few completely new contenders in the OT that have no mention in the laptop!
The truth is I do not tend to record singing or guitars and acoustic instruments into the OT, unless I’m checking if I could mangle them in an interesting way. So stuff will be dealt with in the computer eventually, but at the moment the OT is the main (only) playground for me, the place where the most inspiring things happen…
So 100% OT? No. But 100% the space where things “happen”? Yes.


Lately I mainly use the sequencer to control other hardware. For a long time I was mostly using it for the effects and clock. Before that I was about half and half sample manipulation and processing live input. More than the center of a setup (although it’s great for that too) I’ve mostly been using it as a kid of swiss army knife.


My current Techno project is 100% OT. I just got booked go play a gig in a couple of weeks after playing a bit from my set at a local synth meet. I have 6 tracks of audio. Everything is sampled sequenced eq’d and the run through the track 8 compressor.
Very satisfying!

I also use it along side other gear for other projects. But yeah solo Octatrack is ace.


This is basically what I do other than guitar/bass… But in terms of electronic instruments I’d rather pull up Serum or Arturia and get things moving quick. I have a very minimal “studio”


When I’m in the mood to go Octatracking then 99/100 times that’s all I’ll be using. I’ll just samole the radio a few times and then lose the next few hours slicing, chopping, playing, creating, destroying until I’ve got something I like.

I’ll happily admit that the output of these sessions almost always have faults/issues but so what. It’s not like I’m some or wannabe pro.

If I’m in a different mood, I’ll stick just to Live and some controllers.

I tried the hybrid approach some years ago and found it super frustrating. So it’s OT (or OP-Z) solo or 100% ITB for me.


My current use of the OT is using it as a main hub for craft 2.0 and SKULPT. Pretty fun combo!

Using only OT? Dunno man, not really my idea of a spontaneous setup tbh. Octatrack is a dope instrument, but used only on its own would require too much prep for me to enjoy doing it. Hell, I still have transferred only 1 sample to the card in all these years of having one :nyan:


Daw-less set-up, OT is not the centerpiece. It’s part of a set of interconnected instruments.

Used as:

-live looper (and process the recordings but not necessarily). (guitar, bass, microphones, sax, percussion, vinyl, synths, whatever)
-stream long samples from SD (and process them). Field recordings, mostly.
-megabreak of doom-style drums, use of chains and crossfader
-occasional sequencing of ext midi gear if these don’t have their own sequencer or if their built-in sequencer is too awkward to use
-midi arp (same as above)

Projects are mostly empty, not much samples loaded really. Much of it comes in live. I don’t pre-produce tracks in the studio then load them into the OT for mixing, mangling, resampling and do stuff DJ-style. I’m an old-fashioned musician: I write music then perform it, but I use “modern” tools like the OT. But my way of doing things is constantly evolving as I discover new ways of expression.


I’m using it to make complete tracks these days. It drives an A4, Digitone, Model-D, Minilogue xd and a Blofeld, providing extra audio processing for the Blofeld alongside the audio tracks. Everything is done in the Arranger but I do drop in and out of it, occasionally perform manual track mutes/unmutes. That way I can add some live performance parts to replace some of the sequencer tracks, as the mood takes me.
I then record live to a Zoom hard disk recorder - job done. Did my last bandcamp release that way and it’s lighter, fresher and somehow better than my usual over-complex cack. At least I think so :slight_smile:


My case since I have OT.
Quick “mastering” in DAW (Multiband compressor, fade in / out, normalize).


Definitely different from a daw but has it’s own unique character that make it easier to do more atonal stuff.

Here’s a track/realtime visuals sequenced from the OT via midi cc with all sounds coming from the OT.


That’s great, how did you do this?


Which one? :star_struck: