Help! Octatrack is getting the best of me

Hey everyone!

So I bought an Octatrack a couple months ago and I’ve been using it with my Eurorack setup as a glorified drum sampler and mangler to great results.

But now I just got a gig with a band where I need a sampler and I’m trying to think if the Octa will do what I need it to do but I can’t figure out how. Please help me! We’re playing to a live drummer, so we’re trying to avoid using a click track if possible.

I need to play the Octatrack like a keyboard for a few songs
This means I want to have some heavily effected synth drones doing different chords that I can play like a synth. I understand I can do this with Slices where I can slice up the keyboard samples and place them on different buttons, but I need to be able to hold a trig button, hear the sound I want, then when I release the trig button that sound is off so I can move to another sound on another button. Is that possible? I can get the trig button to play the sample now, but I can’t get it to turn off when I switch to another trig button.

I need to make some drones that go on forever (3 min plus)
self explanatory.

I need to make some one shot trigs that play once through but don’t loop back again
I want to basically use the Octa as a super powerful Roland 404SX sampler. Not really looking for a lot of tempo locking things, just being able to sample and play back samples in real time. I want to do this instead of buying a 404SX because I already have an Octatrack and although I know it’s way more powerful than I need it for for this project, it would save me going out and buying another toy.

You’ll have no prob with all this on OT. Especially considering none of it needs to be sync’d to the loose live drums bpm etc. Power users will be able to advise on best methods. As normal with OT, I think there are a few possible ways. If no one else chimes in I’ll switch on my OT asap and get back to you. Ive barely used it in past couple of months (regrettably :wink: and feel too rusty to advise without it in front of me…

For 2 and 3 take a look at one shot triggers. I don’t do this a lot so check my details against the manual. plus there are always multiple ways to do things.
You place the trigger on the timeline then hit function plus the trigger to convert it to one shot. Press play and the triggers will play the first time. After that you have to arm the track. Press yes plus the track number to arm that track. Yesyes arms all if I recall.
If you don’t need then to play in time I believe you can launch them by switching to trigger play mode which is like a keyboard for your samples. Func plus down arrow until you get the mode. Make sure record light is off.
Also try to use static sample slots whenever you can so it reads direct from the card and keeps ram free. If it glitches look for a faster card.

Let us know how it goes so we can fine tune as needed.

I wonder if you can play with the hold parameter on the envelope for item one above. I’ve got several elektron boxes so I’m not sure if that’s there on the OT or the others but take a lot.

Appreciate it! I’m a visual learner so the manual is pretty confusing to me. Would love some help on this!

Specifically… How can I load keyboard sounds that play in slice mode ONLY when I’m holding a trig button down? And then they stop when I take my finger off the trig button?

I’m afraid you’re either going to knuckle down and read,
OR, do some internet research and watch some videos.

The OT does all of these things pretty easy, and the info is easily accessible.
Not sure what the difference is in reading it here, instead of the manual.
Why ask someone to write it all out here, when it already exists?

There is the Merlins Guide if you haven’t heard of that yet.

You’re right. I guess if someone could just help me with this specific thing I’d really appreciate it

Specifically… How can I load keyboard sounds that play in slice mode ONLY when I’m holding a trig button down? And then they stop when I take my finger off the trig button?

You can play chromatically a sample (look for “chromatic” in the manual)
It’s a bit limited, but from the trigs you can play different pitch on 2 octaves iirc.
To activate Chromatic mode, just hold Fn and hit down arrow button, then look for “chromatic” in the menu.
The 16 trigs + Page button morph into a keyboard (with full velocity only)
You can use Fn + < or > to change octave.

For drones that go forever, you’ll need the “Play free” (check this in the manual). Set a loop, put “hold” parameter in AMP page to INF and you will have to hold track button and hit stop to stop it…

Same for one shot log sample, play free would be the solution. Just don’t disable the loop in PLAYBACK config menu.

EDIT : @cleverconqueso is right, One-shot trigs should do the trick, of course ! It’s simpler to handle.

“play in slice mode ONLY,” could mean a few different things based on your OP.

You can make single cycle waveform sample chains, or even download some that someone else made, and play the OT like mono synth in Chromatic Mode. (Function + Arrow up/dwn accesses modes)

You can also make sample chains with really long “one shot” kind of sounds.
For example, I like having some drone type stuff going on inbetween songs sometimes.
I load one of my drone sample chains into a track using a static machine.
The sample maybe sliced into 4 long ass drones.
So I set the settings to not loop & play slices
My amp page settings have an infinite release and hold.
If the OT is in Trig mode I simply hit the corresponding track trig button to trigger the sound.
I select 1 of 4 sounds using the slice param.

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You should be able to get what you are after by adjusting the AMP PAGE settings for RELEASE time.
By default HOLD and RELEASE are set to INF.
That basically means your sample will play to the end.
Turn down the RELEASE time to adjust how quickly the sample fades out when you let go of the trig.
Hope that helps you.

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Might also be able to set the sample to loop when you play chromatically. The sample editor will let you set loop points do it doesn’t play the attack repeatedly.

The ot is super deep. I probably will do anything you ask within its trade offs. But all that comes with a lot of funct commands and menus. It becomes second nature eventually.

Try taking on one thing at a time so it doesn’t become overwhelming.

thanks for all the help everyone! got it all sorted. octatrack for life!

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