Digitakt or Octatrack for guitar setup?

Hi everyone!
I’m very interested in getting a synth/sequencer in my setup but after long researching I’m more confused than ever.

I play guitar in a live looping duo, so my hands tend to be busy for most of the time while performing and I would be using a Boss ES-8 to send midi commands.
Here is some of the things I would love to achieve:

-being able to start stop, or change presets, via MIDI CC or PC (that’s all the ES-8 can send).
-record guitar loops into the device and use them in a sequencer.
-sync the bpm with my dittox4 to have the two devices play along.

Reading online I found somewhere that Digitakt and Octatrack could do the job, while on other forums saying that they won’t…
Any suggestion?

If your hands are busy with other things, the Digitakt might be a bit much, as it tends to require a lot of hands on when performing with it.

The Octatrack will do everything you want and more, but will take a bit of commitment and a few weeks of frustration to learn properly.


I just got done saying this vary thing in another thread. Keep in mind the Digitakt does not have a way to save pattern chains after power down or built in song mode. OT does, if that’s a need.

Neither Digitakt or Octatrack will start or stop without MIDI transport messages, which the ES-8 does not appear to send. The workaround would be to use an intermediate MIDI processor or something very fiddly with switching clock messages on and off.

Both DT and OT will change their patterns during playback in response to MIDI Program Change messages from the ES-8.

The OT is perfect for this; the DT is not designed for this kind of live sampling.

This should be easy with either OT or DT.

Note that if you wanted to make a prearranged list of patterns to play back in a particular order, the DT will not store this - you will have to program the list of patterns before each song. The OT will do this easily in its Arranger mode.

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You can record things with DT, but you have to stop recording and edit to make a loop. 32s max. Mono. 1 lfo, 1 fx send per track, for 1 reverb and 1 delay. Compressor on Master.
You can make a beat and jam with it quickly.

You can use OT as an 8 track looper, with overdub, 3 lfos and 2 different fx per track, 2 fx on master (sacrifying a track), realtime mangling of recordings (pitch/reverse/slice/start position).
8m28s max recording.
With a midi pedal you can control the crossfader, you can assign it up to 250 parameters…
Takes time to find a workflow with nearly endless possibilities. You have to make choices.

I have both, coming from loopers / grooveboxes, OT is my favorite without any hesitation.
But if you want a simple setup with a looper you want to keep, why not DT.
Concerning midi tracks I prefer OT with its arp and lfo possibilities. Worse for Program Changes send.

Recent live looping with OT decayed loop, 8 string guitar + 3 drum sounds, randomly mangled with the sequencer / lfos.

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Hey guys thank you so much!!
Very clear and in depth answers, I’m so thankful!
You clearly directed me to the octatrack and I think I’ll order it today :wink:

Is there any other pedal, possibly small in size, that could control the Octatrack that you would recommend then? Even via USB, or midi otherwise

Some people recommend Morningstar MC6, MC8, Also check Soleman, Singular Sound Maestro…
Requirements : midi notes, CCs, and ideally Prog Changes, Start / Stop messages.
I have Yamaha MFC10 + ROLAND FC200, pretty big setup !
Midi Foot Controller Question

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