AR+A4, do i still need OT?

After i’ve heard about AR, i’ve returned the Octatrack which i’ve just bought and ordered A4 instead, planning to later add Rytm to have two-piece only analog hardware setup. It sounds like it should be enough for all my needs, both studio and live, covers sound synthesis, drum sampling, sequencing, FX and even sample playback! Plus it gonna fit into backpack with protective lids on and will look cool on stage,hehe.

But for some reason i really regret returning the octatrack, i had enormous fun with it even though i don’t have any hardware to sequence with it, was sampling Aalto soft-synth into it and using some drum sample libraries, or even making stuff just with single cycle waves…

What do you guys think, am i just overdoing it by thinking of getting Octatrack as well(why do i need another machine which gonna do stuff which other two together can), or it might add some significant twist to my composing and/or performing process?

I did work with synths and loopers before, recently use Numerology as a main sequencer and some software instruments such as before mentioned Aalto, but decided to go back to using hardware.

Would just love to get some insights from people here, all the opinions are welcome)

Alternative? Maybe i shall just get Octatrack and forget the whole analog hype?I don’t have much experience with analog stuff if say true except my very first synth i had many years ago, Polivox (hehe, you can guess where i’m from) and the Buchla system we have in studio, which i rarely touch because it’s a beast to patch and i prefer to do stuff fast and fun way, like by rotating bunch of knobs and activating steps on the sequencer…Octatrack plus Ambika and samples for drums? Any other alternatives?

Going to do mostly techno and kind of ambient/experimental(hate this word, i know what i’m doing not much experiments there, just pure trips)).

Thanks a lot!!

P.S. Oh, i think i could post this in any section of this forum, if it should be somewhere else, please free to move it, if you have a power to do so)

nobody has the AR yet, so it will be hard for them to compare it

I don’t see how it could replace the OT though (just looking at the specs)

It may replace the OT for people that only need specific features that they can get in the AR but even if I had the funds for the AR (I don’t since I just bought the A4)…I would not give up my OT. :slight_smile:

The AR will do sample playback but it won’t actually sample like the OT can.

If you use the OctaTrack as mainly a glorified drum machine and sample looper, maybe. But it is so much more. I think the three will work well together.

in my opinion OT is elektron’s most unique & powerful instrument… there are tons of [analog] drum machines & synths out there… hardware samplers? none in the current market… and even less that can scratch the surface of what the OT can do… that being said only you can answer if you actually need one!

I agree with the last comment. The OT is “disconnected” from the Elektron’s sound and can be whatever you want it to be. You could use it as a hub for the AR and A4, and add so much more on top of that.

It is the only Elektron’s hardware I will ever own, as it is an incredible tool. It comes empty as most daws and you dress it !!!

The OT is super amazing for samples stuff, I doubt the AR will let you tweak them as you can with that box.

In fact why do you need an AR or A4 when you have an OT :joy:

There is nothing like it on the market, so mandatory in any setup me think.

In my opinion,

Yes, you need the Octatrack. With the OT in the mix of AR and A4, you wont need a mixer. You can add LOT OF samples / loops into your music. Add FX to A4 and AR. Resample them in realtime and do crazy stuff.

Right now, I see OT + A4 + AR as gigging gear while I sample a lot of ideas from MD + MnM into the OT while in studio.

the OT is ambient/experimental in a box. I can see it completely at home running an A4 and AR from its solid MIDI clock, bending their audio to its dark will and making them rise above any who dared stand before them.

It is the black heart and dark master of Elektron’s Black Trinity :alien:

If I owned an A4, I would get an OT over the AR if I had to choose only one more Elektron box between those two. You can sample the A4 for analog drums, add samples, layer them and resample. Assuming you run track 8 as Master, and have an A4 and AR, that still leaves you a lot of power left in the OT for it to do its thing. It also has some effects not available to the Analog Trinity. The effects they do have are really good, but they do not have the variety the OT offers. People sometimes like to bash the OT effects, but I find them to be useable at least.

The OT is ever-useful, it is the one piece of hardware I will never, ever get rid of (despite falling in love with the MnM and loving my OP-1) because it just does so much.

But in the end only you can decide what gear you need.

the ot i think is by far the mot complete machine… its the only one i liked to use alone,

the rest of the boxes alone is way too much of a pain for the reward,

i think the ot and any of the other boxes makes sense,

if its the a4, then it can be more drum orientated, with the a4, synths.

who knows what the sequencer is going to be like in the ar,

it could be more ot, fully featured, or a4, a little less

the analog4 is great though, i think the best match

I wanted to have both, but I sold my OT to help fund a future AR purchase. I plan on doing my sample prep on the ipad. I don’t plan on using more than a sample or two at a time with the AR. It will definitely be different. But, I was also looking for a change in my setup. I plan on using the AR with an MD SPS-1 and other bits.

I have just taken the leap of faith and added an octatrack to my analog 4 and machinedrum. While it’s early days (started playing with the OT tonight) I can already see that it will be the key element in the setup I have.

These 3 machines I can see being brilliant together, and enable nearly anything to be created, which has been my goal from the start.

Now for me, the last unit I buy boils down to Mnm or a AR. And that’s not a decision that will be easy to make. - and honestly, my gut feeling is it’ll only be to fill the whole in the rack anyway and I’m guessing I’m not the only person that has made that decision.

thank you for the replies, very interesting to see the range of opinions, and the ideas of how to integrate different pieces with each other…

hm, i didn’t know that you have to give up a track if you want to use audio inputs on A4…

idea of using A4 for drums by sampling it to the Octatrack sounds nice, is it good enough for drums though?

I didn’t think and say that Rytm can replace Octatrack, more like that BOTH A4 and Rytm together can cover lots of ground and i might not need another box, i’d like to have a small portable setup so two boxes is better then three) I won’t have any other synths, so nothing to sample, and 10 tracks(8 drums and percussion plus 4 synths), extended by parameter locks and sound locks should be really more then enough for the stuff i’m intending to do.

Rytm supposed to have audio inputs too, so i could plug A4 into it, and hopefully use analog compressor on Rytm to mix all the stuff together, this way i won’t need a mixer or Octatrack used as a mixer, even if i’ll loose one track of drums it’s still good, don’t need cowbell, that’s for sure))

Both boxes have their own sequencers so no need for Octatrack to sequence them either. And it looks like at least A4 can send program changes, so i should be able to sync them if i’d need to do so.

So basically what’s left is live sampling and resampling with sound manipulations for doing build-up’s, fills and this kind of stuff and FX of Octatrack.

OT FX are cool, i’d love to have a comb filter on analog offers from Elektron, but the rest is covered, no? Great reverbs, delay, chorus, analog filters.

Live sampling and ‘remixing’ together with scenes and crossfader is the most interesting unique feature so far which would be hard to reproduce on other boxes. Still, i can instantly jump between patterns on A4(versus 16 scenes on OT), and performance mode is kind of like crossfader function(not really, i love how easy it is to do the smooth and not so smooth transitions on OT), even though when i’ve tried to use the encoders it was a bit hard, they are too close to each other, and if you want to go back to the original settings you have to push them down and stuff, not as comfortable…

I’m getting lot of insights from all your answers, seems to be a great creative community Elektron got around themselves, they are so lucky :wink: haha


Can’t even afford an AR so I have just be making sample chains of A4 Percussion for the OT instead - can’t see that I’ll be missing out on much working this way.

I sold my Octa about a year ago.
I was waiting for the Mystery box to open to decide which box I will re-enter the Elektron game with.
I’ve decided I really want the new “Dark Trinity”…eventually… :astonished:$$$$$$
As sexy as the Rytm is…I decided to go Octatrack first.
It’s the most “stand-alone” while I acquire the other units.
Also, the other boxes benefit greatly from having the OT around.
Ill prob go A4 next, then wait to get my hands on a cheaper used Rytm down the road.

This might help.

hm, i didn’t know that you have to give up a track if you want to use audio inputs on A4…

—> No it doesn’t, only when you want to use the filters. Otherwise you can run audio thru the fx without losing a voice.

idea of using A4 for drums by sampling it to the Octatrack sounds nice, is it good enough for drums though?

-----> Yes defenately. Have a look at darenagers A4 pack, awesome drums

So basically what’s left is live sampling and resampling with sound manipulations for doing build-up’s, fills and this kind of stuff and FX of Octatrack.

----> Yeah basically stereo samples are only possible on the OT. AR plays mono samples. And I bet you need those 8 voices for drums, so an extra 8 voices for FX, vocals, etc would be handy I reckon

This might help.
sounds good!

Yeah basically stereo samples are only possible on the OT. AR plays mono samples.

I think in sonic state video from NAMM Cenk told that samples on Rytm are stereo actually.

to put it simply, Elektron did a great job at making both desirable instruments…that do not cross over into each others territory completely

I’d say the most often used effects are covered, but the OT has a flanger, phaser, three reverb flavors, lofi w/ brr, srr, and amplitude mod/distortions, the spatializer, the EQ and a compressor…

I use the flanger and phaser a lot to add slow/subtle modulating sounds, and/or to butcher the waveform and pull out a little bit of the sample to process/mangle on it’s own.

If you don’t want or use those kinds of effects, then yeah, the Analogs have you covered with delay, reverb, and chorus, but you’d only be able to use them on the A4 and AR, or use them to process external audio. The OT is a lot more flexible as an fx box, though, with its Thru and Neighbor Machines.

My mistake, then. Seems I was only halfway correct.