Connecting synths & DJ console to Octatrack Mk II


I’ve just purchased Mk II to be a “brain” of my studio and am wondering how to connect all my instruments to Octatrack.

I’ve gotten Access Virus TI 2, Nord Lead 4 as my main synths, both of them at least 2 stereo outputs, Pioneer DDJ-SX3 DJ console with 2 outputs, Yamaha MG10XU 10-channel mixer, Focusrite Scarlett 18i20 sound interface and MOTU MIDI Express 128 for MIDI merging (8+8 channels). All connected using elektron Overhub. I consider this to be my final synth setup for the next 10 years unless something revolutionary comes around (no GAS syndrome) and would like to set it up properly to utilize all it can offer.

Octatrack seems to have only two stereo inputs so I can’t connect all my synths to it directly; I assume I’d have to route my synths/DJ console through 18i20, whose output would go to one of Octatrack inputs. Another option is to route them through the MG10XU mixer and from there to one of Octatrack inputs. Then route the Octatrack output back to MG10XU mixer, from there to studio monitors, monitor headphones and a 7.1 system via a receiver. Here it is obviously not a good idea to actually drive mixer’s output to Octatrack input when I then drive its output back to mixer again; on the other hand I’d love to have the ability to hear something on Octatrack even without having 18i20 running. Any idea what would I need to do here? An additional mixer merging both Octatrack and MG10XU outputs? A simpler sound merger?

Both synths/DJ console are also routed through MIDI Express 128, with both their MIDI IN and OUT ports connected to it. Octatrack should be the “master” of orchestration, so I assume it’d only need to connect its MIDI OUT to one of the MIDI INs on MIDI Express. Is there any reason for Octatrack to connect its MIDI IN with MIDI Express’s output as well?

Many thanks for any advice!

If I were you, I would invest in a small portable mixer.

Personally I would plug all your synths and outboard gear into the mixer, plug the mixer main output to the OT input, then connect the OT output to an input Focusrite, and plug your monitors into the Focusrite output. That’s pretty much how I have mine set up, except I have an Analog Heat between the OT and the audio interface.

You could also connect everything to the Focusrite, and use the Focusrite software that comes with the interface to route your inputs to an output port, and send that into your OT. The software should allow you to choose what you send to the Focusrite output and into the OT as needed. I have an 18i20 also and I managed to get this working once, but could never figure out how to redo it.

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Option 1

Get a small Mackie and use Mute3-4 and Aux to route synth to inputs

Option 2

Get a Qu Pac and have everything set up once, routing mastermind. You can define the softvuttons to route all your stuff to your liking on the stereo inputs of the OT or TI.


  • have ALL voices of your stuff simultaeniously connected.
  • you can use the TI’s inputs on the OTs cue outs for further mayhem (FX, Dist and Sat, Vocoder and the audio chopper that’s name does not come to mind right now)
  • you can get rid of that scarlett toy :yum: and have a fully fledged 32x32 interface via USB
  • 18 Tracks multitracking in 24bit 48kHz to USB device like Flashdrive or external HDD/SSD - Jam and record w/o computer running


  • Pricey.

Read the Manual. Start on page 95 for set-up tips.

Also, From the manual, “INPUT C/D, A/B, Audio inputs. Use either 1/4” mono phone plug (unbalanced connection) or
1/4” (Tip/Ring/Sleeve) phone plug (balanced connection).”

On the inputs you can use a 1/4" (Tip/Ring/Sleeve) . Tip and Ring to the synth (left and right input) balanced connection of cable into one of the inputs on your OT.

He can do almost everything you said with the gear he already has, using that Focusrite ‘toy’, and save himself the unnecessary expense and hassle. He’ll have to switch the computer on and load the software but that’s a small price to pay compared to the alternative you suggested.

calm down - called it TOY. Not crap.

No big thing, no harm done.
I really think it kills the moment when you have to start your computer and set everything up when you could just jam and MTK.

Sure, the Pac is expensive, but if you look closely, it is a bargain.
Comp, Gate, 4band PEQ, Ducker - all per channel!
4 internal aux busses, 12 external aux, 8 mix busses - groups, DCA, no need for a computer do do EVERYTHING is just great.
and if you run out of channels (22), just add 16 more!
I can’t see why showing some next level shit to a naut is wrong? He asked for easy routing. in the Scarlett, routing is possible, but with hassle. On the Pac, once set up, it is a press of a softbutton or two taps on the touchscreen or attached tablet. It is just great, nothing less.

And my firstmentioned alt was just getting a decent mixer with routing capability for 200+ bucks.

so see it this way: sell the yamaha and scarlett and put on some cash, you get a solution that is usable OTB and ITB, is the most flexible you can get for money, allows you multitracking.

So spending another 500 to gain all this seems like a nobrainer to me.