Clarifying sample re-trig functionality

I’d say I’ve just had my third date with the Octatrack. I’ve done some basic sampling (both trig’d and quantized manual), a little slicing, a healthy dose of basic TR-style drum sequencing, some p-locks, some basic scene changing, and some scale setup to get tracks of different lengths revolving around each other. Maybe 3 hours total plus lots of manual reading and videos.

My approach right now is to try to touch on/explore all its features rather than slowly mastering each building block, because the basic concepts of the Octatrack make sense to me, and I just need to familiarize myself more.

One area that I’ve messed with and gotten some good results with but don’t really understand is the whole retrig/“RTIM” (retrig time?) world. Sometimes it “works” and I’m able to create very nice stutter effects and subtle snare flams, and other times those knobs simply don’t do anything.

Can anyone clarify for me what settings (probably in the Playback setup menu) are enabling/disabling that retrig function?

Or maybe I’m asking the wrong question.

I’m not an OT master yet, but can you clarify a bit about your trigger/sample?

Lots of things can affect that timing like slicing, length, etc etc…

Are you using an LFO or just setting the main retrig in playback? Are you using any other LFOs on that track?

I’ve always found it to work just as expected.

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Yeah, I guess I’m asking what exactly affects it. Meaning, I can’t really clarify because I’m not clear myself! : )

Because I’m trying right now to just expose myself to the OT’s features, I’m tending to just throw some samples in and start working with them. Generally I get something going fairly quickly and so I also forget just as quickly what I’ve done to the samples.

I would say it always works when I have a one-shot sample or a sample that is longer but starts with a sound. Sometimes when I slice samples I get confused about what all the available functionality is for dealing with slices.

One param dictates the repeat count
the other dictates the interval (in Trig step units)
i’m guessing you may have had a long interval (too long) that then got surpassed by the next trig in the sequence

Retrigging samples that start with silence will of course result in silence if the retrig time is such that the “sound” in the sample is never reached. Adjusting the start parameter can help in this case.

if you aren’t using any LFOs, as others have already stated, it will depend on your sample/trig and the retrig settings

if you have a really short retrig time and not very many retrig counts, it may give the illusion that it isn’t retrigging, same can be said for samples with silence in the beginning or long non-percussive sound…on the flip side, really long trig times may not hit if you are hitting other trigs before they get a chance to retrig

just think of it in terms of manually triggering (re-trigger actually) the sample…so if you were to manually hit the sample trigger and then hit it again…that is a retrig

RTRG is the number of times you want it to retrigger (i.e. number of times you would hit a sample key)…and RTIM is the time in between those retriggers

perhaps you already had that much figured out though? :slight_smile: throw a snare on trig 1 and play around with the settings…retrig 2 to get a double hit on that snare…once you throw an LFO on there, that’s when it really gets interesting

the manual has more technical info, i.e. RTIM is relative to the tempo and expressed in values related to the amount of steps of the sequencer


Handy tip for quick use, if you start with RTIM fully clockwise and then push and turn the encoder you will get values that are sub-divisions of a bar at the current tempo (8.0, 4.0, 2.0, 1.0, 1/2, 1/4, 1/8, 1/16, 1/32, 1/64). If you start with the RTIM fully counter-clockwise and push and turn you will get values related to triplets


whoa!!! awesome. everyone seems to be blowing me away with their awesomeness today. i better go have a cup of tea.


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I call this piece, “9 across 6”.

Actually not quite the same because the retrigs don’t trig the envelopes. So if you have a short hold and release on the amp, that may be one reason you don’t get to hear the retrigs.

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:+1: great :+1:

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gonna get on that :+1:

Actually not quite the same because the retrigs don’t trig the envelopes. So if you have a short hold and release on the amp, that may be one reason you don’t get to hear the retrigs.[/quote]
I was trying to give a general idea, not go into technical detail (I did not say it was the exact same thing)…the manual goes into some of that…there are obviously lots of reasons you may not be hearing the retrig (which is what I stated)…then there are the diff. trigs in relation to triggering envelopes, effects, etc etc…I believe what I stated gets the general idea across without going into technical detail

no problem in pointing out technical details now that the thread has progressed though

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Wow, that’s super helpful actually. Thanks for sharing that.
Ok, that clears it up, guys. I just didn’t know whether there was a single setting somewhere that negated it, but it sounds like I probably just forgot that I had messed with the envelopes of some of the samples–I didn’t know it doesn’t retrigger, but that makes a lot of sense–or was using too long an RTIM time relative to the sequence.
The other big problem with the retrig function is not getting sidetracked for an hour thinking I’m Richard D. James.

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you can set an LFO to re-trigger on a sample…in the LFO setup, change from FREE to TRIG…there are quite a few other settings there that should meet almost any need on when/how you want the LFO to trigger

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The other big problem with the retrig function is not getting sidetracked for an hour thinking I’m Richard D. James.

Very much this ^^ :slight_smile:

Fantastic, how did you figure this out, I can’t seem to find this in the manual?

Well, you see the divisions in the display. But yeah, it would have been nice to read about it too. No argue about that.

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i’ve been enjoying programming melodies into retriggers by p-locking or routing LFOs to really high values. i wrote a simple max program to convert MIDI pitches into BPM, so that interval divisions of my retriggering will be in tune with synths, etc. the program can be downloaded here: