Any Octatrack users?

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Dapifer
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Any Octatrack users?

Post by Dapifer » Fri Sep 06, 2013 5:15 pm

I been thinking of making a purchase and was just wondering if anyone has any advice on whether it would be a good addition. What I'm mainly curious about is how it will interact with my recently purchased Slim Phatty.

One thing I'm curious about is, can it be used to trigger polyphonic chords on the Phatty even if it means sampling the notes and using playback, I did come across someone mentioning they used Maschine this way so it got me curious.

In honesty, I've not fully grasped its scope from what I've read and I am new to hardware but any shared experience would be appreciated.

GovernorSilver
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Re: Any Octatrack users?

Post by GovernorSilver » Fri Sep 06, 2013 7:09 pm

Dapifer wrote:I been thinking of making a purchase and was just wondering if anyone has any advice on whether it would be a good addition. What I'm mainly curious about is how it will interact with my recently purchased Slim Phatty.

One thing I'm curious about is, can it be used to trigger polyphonic chords on the Phatty even if it means sampling the notes and using playback, I did come across someone mentioning they used Maschine this way so it got me curious.

In honesty, I've not fully grasped its scope from what I've read and I am new to hardware but any shared experience would be appreciated.


You can't use the Octatrack (or any other MIDI sequencer) to make the Phatty polyphonic over MIDI, but you can indeed use the Octatrack to play samples of the Phatty polyphonically.

Here is a great video of someone making a polyphonic track out of one monophonic sample, using only the Octatrack (no other samples, no external synths or effects):

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t6wKg30cy1w

I'm not as skilled as that guy, but check out what the Octatrack did to my almost-monophonic viola:
https://soundcloud.com/governorsilver/s ... red-orange

Dapifer
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Re: Any Octatrack users?

Post by Dapifer » Fri Sep 06, 2013 8:28 pm

Yea I get ya, I know it can't trigger poly by midi as one voice means one voice. In hindsight I guess it's no question as to whether it can do it with samples as any multitrack can. More the effectiveness and ease of use for such things I was questioning.

I think I'm already sold on it, actually checked that vid you posted earlier today. I like what you did with the viola too! It seems to be a machine that could inspire a lot of creativity. I've often got the ideas but lack the patience to express them with daw's and I'm thinkin this may be the tool I need for some hands on-on the fly fun.

Thanks for the response. :o

Sir Nose
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Re: Any Octatrack users?

Post by Sir Nose » Sat Sep 07, 2013 12:09 am

Incredible machine. You won't be disappointed if you can push through the learning stage. Still spanking me at times, but its all about putting in the hours.

GovernorSilver
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Re: Any Octatrack users?

Post by GovernorSilver » Sat Sep 07, 2013 2:08 pm

Dapifer wrote:Yea I get ya, I know it can't trigger poly by midi as one voice means one voice. In hindsight I guess it's no question as to whether it can do it with samples as any multitrack can. More the effectiveness and ease of use for such things I was questioning.

I think I'm already sold on it, actually checked that vid you posted earlier today. I like what you did with the viola too! It seems to be a machine that could inspire a lot of creativity. I've often got the ideas but lack the patience to express them with daw's and I'm thinkin this may be the tool I need for some hands on-on the fly fun.

Thanks for the response. :o


Thank you for the kind comments about my viola track.

Regarding the ease of use: Some features are very easy to use - eg. slicing audio - and some features continue to confound me, especially the trigger scheme (sample triggers vs. trigless triggers vs. the 50 other types of triggers - I exaggerate of course). Fortunately, there have been some helpful members of the elektron-users community who have helped me progress. I admit I had misgivings about ease-of-use myself before I bought my Octatrack, but after hearing so many tracks by different people, I decided to dive in. darenager (the guy who made that awesome Wilhelm scream track) advised me to make a bunch of Projects in the Octatrack, and dedicate each Project to learning and practicing just one sampling method of the Octatrack - the "one play at a time, one game at a time" approach to learning. There are officially three sampling methods (Pickup/Looper, Manual Track Recorder, and Recording Trig), but the latter two methods have tons of variations to learn. You could probably follow his advice for your explorations of making polyphonic tracks out of your Phatty. So many ways to do it - loop it on one track with a Pickup Machine, record it to multiple tracks (you can also resample from multiple tracks back down to one track to free up tracks :!: ), sample a mono phrase from the Phatty and slice it, etc.

I haven't worked much with my Voyager because of all the time I've been putting into learning how to use my Octatrack. But it's been worth it because it's taking my music in directions that would not have been possible without it. When I finally get around to integrating the Voyager with the Octatrack... Watch out! 8)

Dapifer
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Re: Any Octatrack users?

Post by Dapifer » Sat Sep 07, 2013 6:41 pm

Yea I originally stumbled across it as I was looking a sequencer for my Phatty but I had also considered a sampler in the past too, it seems this has the best of both but I'm also concerned I might be biting off more than I can chew with this as I've no experience with anything like it.

Dapifer
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Re: Any Octatrack users?

Post by Dapifer » Sat Sep 07, 2013 6:43 pm

I read somewhere that sampling was quite an awkward process on it but that was from something posted in 2011, did they ever update it for easier quicker sampling?

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stiiiiiiive
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Re: Any Octatrack users?

Post by stiiiiiiive » Sun Sep 08, 2013 5:22 am

As GovernorSilver said, I think the best way to learn Octatrack is to have fun with a couple of functionas at a time. It certainly is a really deep instruments, in spite of what Elektron made it easy -I mean for ALL that it can do. In particular the Elektron sequencer is so good! It is quite sophisitcated and requires few keys combos for doing really complex stuffs, like the different trigs.

That being, said, the main reason why I did not jump from the Machine Drum UW to the OT was exactly that: it requires a time for learning that Iwas not ready to invest. I was wanting to do many things at that time and learning only one instrument for weks, albeit the OT, was not compatible with that. Maybe some day... I keep on thinking it's amongst the best performance instuments out there.

Dapifer
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Re: Any Octatrack users?

Post by Dapifer » Sun Sep 08, 2013 11:53 am

What other alternatives are there to OT? In terms of something that can sequence external synths and double as a sampler?

I thought Machinedrum was a different tool altogether?

Ryan Lubinsky
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Re: Any Octatrack users?

Post by Ryan Lubinsky » Sun Sep 08, 2013 12:59 pm

i really enjoy my octatrack. i got into electronic music through the korg electribe series and after jamming for a while and learning what the esx and emx could do for me, i found elektron and thought they solved all my problems with the machinedrum and octatrack. so i sold all my korg "grooveboxs" and never looked back. i also use ableton 9 also but i spend most of my time using my octatrack as the brain of my hardware setup. i only use ableton to kinda "cheet"

GovernorSilver
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Re: Any Octatrack users?

Post by GovernorSilver » Sun Sep 08, 2013 1:43 pm

Dapifer wrote:What other alternatives are there to OT? In terms of something that can sequence external synths and double as a sampler?


I have seen the Gotharman Little Deformer proposed as an Octatrack alternative. It, too, has sequencing and sampling capabilities. From what I gather, it has onboard synthesis (the Octatrack has no synth engine) and effects that are different. OTOH, it has 4 audio tracks and 4 MIDI tracks, compared to 8 each for the Octatrack, and very limited looping capability. I have no idea how easy it is to use compared to the Octatrack. My guess is with the smaller number of knobs/buttons, indicator lights, and smaller LCD screen, I would have a steep learning curve with the Gotharman, but I could als be wrong.

As far as the sampling workflow on the Octatrack goes, the Pickup Machine sampling method is easy to use. With this method, the Octatrack can guess the BPM of the sample, and sync its sequencer accordingly (if you want - this can be disabled too).

Manual Track sampling method also looks easy but I haven't tried it yet, because I've been so focused on using the Octatrack as a hybrid looper/sound mangler device, not as a sampling groovebox. Where I still have a lot to learn is how to play back a sample recorded via this method.

Recorder Trig sampling method appears to be the most complicated method, because this is the one that automatically samples in time with the sequencer - so it requires more setup/config than the other two methods. But I could see the advantages if you, say, want to sample an arpeggiated Phatty phrase at a specific time in your song while doing something else. In any case, I would not mess with this method until I'm comfortable with the Manual method of sampling and the various ways to play back a sample recorded via the Manual method.

Dapifer wrote:I thought Machinedrum was a different tool altogether?


It is a drum machine, but some later models come with sampling capability.

Dapifer
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Re: Any Octatrack users?

Post by Dapifer » Sun Sep 08, 2013 4:13 pm

Would even playing sampled loops while sequencing synths require learning the more advanced 'Recorder trig' method? Or do you mean for more advanced synchronicity with the sequencing?

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stiiiiiiive
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Re: Any Octatrack users?

Post by stiiiiiiive » Mon Sep 09, 2013 9:10 am

Dapifer wrote:I thought Machinedrum was a different tool altogether?

The MD is a drum machine. The User Wave extension consisted in adding sampling capabilities. That being said, the flavor of the MDUW sampling is special: 12 bit, triggering mode a bit weird. But believe me, once you're in, you don't want to leave.
Actually, the UW capabilities have given birth to so much original practices that Elektron took the concept into a way more complete, dedicated instrument: the Octatrack. The introduction of its manual relates that, BTW.

I find the MDUW to be really hands on. I worked a couple of years with the following approach: a microphone plugged into a Clavia G2 for vocal effects; a guitar with an amp simulation (analogue ;) ); both sent into the MDUW. Sessions start with a "clear pattern" and improvisation do the rest. You can build a track within a few minutes.

If you're insterested in results, I can provide some links.

Dapifer wrote:Would even playing sampled loops while sequencing synths require learning the more advanced 'Recorder trig' method? Or do you mean for more advanced synchronicity with the sequencing?

I think there is no particular difficultiy for that.

GovernorSilver
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Re: Any Octatrack users?

Post by GovernorSilver » Mon Sep 09, 2013 10:07 am

Dapifer wrote:Would even playing sampled loops while sequencing synths require learning the more advanced 'Recorder trig' method?


No, you are not required to use the Recorder Trig method to record samples while sequencing synths. There seem to be plenty of Youtube videos of Octatrack users sequencing synths and sampling them at the same time, using just the manual sampling method or the pickup machine method.

You only need to use the Recorder Trig method if you really, really, really need automated sampling. I think you will be like me as a beginner - too busy learning the basic functions of this very deep box to take on Recorder Trig.

Manual sampling method of external audio is just pressing two buttons: [Track N] + [Record AB] (where N is the track number, assuming synth is plugged into input A or B). Very simple... And the sequencer doesn't have to stop running while you're doing it....

Dapifer
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Re: Any Octatrack users?

Post by Dapifer » Mon Sep 09, 2013 11:40 am

Cheers guys, and yea Stiiive I'd love to hear some stuff, same goes for anyone who's made some demos from Octatrack and similar tools.

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