Writing an article about why the Octatrack is still so rad after a decade

I’m writing another article about music gear (last week I covered the MDR 7506), this one about the Octatrack. The idea is that it’s still the weirdest—and coolest—electronic musical instrument around, and there’s nothing like it.

I’m looking for quotes for my piece. I have the general gist of the piece — I’m on my second Octatrack after selling the first—a comon situtaion I think!

So, if anyone can give a quick answer about why they love the Octatrack, or why they don’t like it, that would be amazing! If you’d like me to link to your Soundcloud/website/LinkedIn(!), stick the link in your post.

A couple of questions to give some ideas:

  • What’s the appeal of the Octatrack? What makes it unique?
  • Why is it still so popular after ten years?
  • Why do so many of us buy them, then sell them, then buy them again?

I couldn’t think of a better place to ask!


I canz proof read fro reasonbale rate :wink:


I can spot a double space from across the room in somebody else’s writing. But On my own, I can’t see a thing. Selective blindness :wink:


…feel free to quote me on all the klak klak zak zak workflow thing…

…the ot gives U…

  • 8 cd decks at once with realtime audio mangeling…
  • loopable audio chux from one single cycle waveform up to minutes and minutes of length
  • a lfo monsta
  • 8 live loopers
  • 8 midi arps followin’ the realtime scales of ur choice to adress whatever ext midi gear u got
  • a groovebox that makes ANYTHING groove
  • a digital mixer for various external sources
  • supa versatile fx realtime action
  • the feel of beein’ a guitar hero
  • the feel of beein’ a mod crack head nerd
  • the feel of beein’ a super sophisticated sounddesigner
  • a full fledged dj booth
  • a playback bitch
  • a live band in ur back, that always follows UR tempo
  • access to an endless array of sound snippets, always ready to get sliced up and spitted out
  • a resonator, filter and crusher unit
  • a unique and timeless sequencer engine
  • a wavetable synth

all in one box…
between 700 up to 1200 bux…since a decade…

  1. it’s the swiss army knife of electronic instruments, even though it’s swedish.
  2. ditto; nobody came up with anything better so far
  3. never sold my mk1 from 2011 and I don’t intend to

Still after a decade no other hardware AFAIK can record 8 stereo samples at once, whilst playing back 8 stereo samples.


…while sequencing 8 machines with 3 LFO each

I also like these:

  • the 2 stereo inputs
  • the 2 stereo outs so that I can have 2 different FX buses
  • the scenes + crossfader
  • OS is still updated 10 years after

I hear it’s a buggy, awful to use sampler with crap converters, outdated fx and a useless manual. All of this probably adds up to some special mojo.


never heard this one before! it’s only useless if you don’t read manuals.


I’ve seen it mentioned many times. Personally I love it, it has everything in it and very often a question about how OT works can be answered just by pointing to a page in the manual.

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I do think it’s kind of hard to follow, or rather to get sense of how the sampler actually works from just reading it. But it’s all there, every bit of functionality is explained in it and I got a spiral bound version with my mk. I, so no complaints from me.

Here are the best of mine that I could find:


It’s an instrument with infinite possibilities but very strict limits. Some things (eg normalizing a long sample, manually adjusting slice points etc) take a bit of time but generally speaking it’s very fast to work with and encourages experimentation while also giving you the safety of a saved part or neutral scene to return to. There’s more but these are my initial thoughts.

Best one:

Worse one:



The OT is equally versatile and idiosyncratic. With it’s rich feature set it’s unrivaled, but the lack of guarding rails in some areas makes it a somewhat high maintenance companion. However, judging by the number of studio videos I’ve seen it unexpectedly pop up in, 10 years in, it still seems to be the prime choice of many artists, which I attribute to the lack of any real competition for this jack of all trades.

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Thanks everyone so far! This is exactly what I’m looking for.

There was once a huge discussion on the sound quality of the OT, and in the end, the biggest critic of the OT picked the OT as their favourite sounding of two demo clips. :wink:


I’ve been reading those threads again this week. I’m planning to resample and live-loop my Digitakt to see if there’s much of a difference. If there is, I don’t really care too much anyway.

I spend so much time hitting stuff next to a mic, then adding bit-reducers and distortion, that it seems a bit pointless to moan about DACs or whatever :slight_smile:


Because, because, becauuuuuuse, Octatrack owners will be happy!

SCNR :wink:

It’s unique in my (limited) experience, an unrivalled meeting of powerful control and happy accidents. Whenever the question “how do I….?” is asked, OT provides an answer. No other bit of gear I’ve had does that.