First post - first piece of Elektron gear (Octatrack question)

So, after researching and saving for the last several months, I finally ordered (out of stock) my Octatrack. I am quite excited and thanks to forums like this for existing. I hope my question isn’t irritating or a rehash of other threads, but I did do some searching before posting this.

Here is what I envision using the Octatrack for in my first phase of learning it. I have been a bedroom producer for the last 6-7 years and have worked with Reason, Ableton, Cubase as well as some hardware from Novation (MiniNova and Bass Station II).

This is completely not maximizing the beast that is the OT, but, for starters, I want to be able to take my finished works (wav files) and use the OTto play them live. This can be accomplished in other ways obviously using a laptop, but I want to be able to tweak/mangle on the fly instead of just hitting play or using Ableton.

If you import a large completed song, how much can you really “effect” it vs. chopping up the 4-5 minute song into smaller slices? I understand the static vs. flex machine logic, but for ease of learning curve at the beginning, what exactly is the OT capable of in my outlined context? Sorry again for the basic question. I’ve seen topics on backing tracks and DJ style crossfading, but I’m thinking more towards representing my completed works live but with the ability to mangle them. Hoping to minimize user errors since I’ve never played electronic compositions live. Thanks in advance!

If you are uploading full songs to 1 track, arent you still just pushing play?

Either way: in adding an entire song to 1 track on OT, you will be able to effect pitch, rate, and your choice of effects using real time control or lfos. There are some other things, but realistically you wont get much out of the OT by doing it this way, in my opinion. If you were to take a completed song and stem it out in sections, you will get much more versatility and ability to really change stuff around per track.

The thing to keep in mind, regarding the OT is that you are really in most ways truly only limited by your imagination. The vast array of techniques that can be learned and created on the OT will keep you busy for years if you have the dedication. That said, there is not right or wrong way to do anything with the OT in the overall sense. You will learn very fast that you HAVE to bend to its will to learn the machine, but once you learn a few different tricks you will quickly be coming up with your own ideas and ways of doing things that best suit your workflow.

I would really recommend spending a lot of time with the OT before trying to play shows with it, especially if you are not used to using hardware OR software in a live setting. Its worth the effort though.

Thanks for the honest reply! I agree that this is just another form of hitting play vs. stemming it out. Since I’ve never had the joy of having this machine in my presence or getting to demo it, it comes across as quite intimidating. I’m up for the challenge and am in 100% agreement that a piece of kit priced at $1300 and capable of so much deserves the proper treatment. I can imagine receiving it and wanting to really leverage the deep workflow to create some utter chaos! Having a working knowledge of other tools (sw and hw), I’m tired of knowing just enough to get by, so I really want to make this investment something that I can really learn, feel comfortable with, and create synergy with before presenting it in a live forum. Good food for thought, and I appreciate the way you communicated your reply. Cheers!

You definitely have the right attitude for the OT. Ive seen too many people buy them and then a week later post them for sale because “this machine doesnt work cause i cant do this i cant do that”. If you have experience with playing a keyboard, for instance, chances are you can buy any other keyboard and get it home and play it. They may be different, but in the end its the same as the one below or above it give or take placement of parameter editing. Elektrons have a different thing going on. You have to treat each machine as its own form of instrument, and give yourself the time to really practice and learn the ins and outs. I spent almost 1 year just playing with Static machines and not focusing on much else to great enjoyment. Ive had 2 OTs and i just recently (last week) started playing with Pickup Machines and its like i uncovered a completely new dimension.

Start slow by playing with your pre-written material, and within a few weeks you… if not days… you will be itching to do everything from scratch with the OT…

then comes the obsession with buying the rest of the Elektrons… but thats another story.

Haha! Much appreciated. Can’t wait to explore this beast. And I was looking at their other stuff already due to a financing promo with a generous line of credit, but I figured I’d have my hands full for a while with the OT. Elektron has some news coming up next week apparently at Musicmesse so I’m hoping it’s something like an OT OS update vs. a new machine! All the best, and thanks again for your time with the replies and encouragement.

For the way you plan to work initially with the OT have a look at this thread.

Thanks zeropoint! This is very helpful info. Lots of digesting to do, but I’m going to be as ready as possible for when the unit ships.

Just watched that entire Tom Cosm Vimeo tutorial, and I learned so much. This will definitely give me something to do while I wait for the OT! Thanks again!