Help with a super confusing Midi chain and Octatrack?

Hey guys,

I am redoing my non-computer set up finally to integrate my recently bought Octatrack. It’s pretty convoluted, I was hoping you all could chime in on what you think about this set up before I hook everything up. Previously I had been clocking everything with a MPC 60 which was way less confusing since it has 4 midi outs.

The idea is that:

• Octatrack would clock all sequencer based gear (AR, Keys, TT303) and Moog Minitaur (since it has midi CC and is mono)
• Analog Keys would drive CV enabled gear and serve as the master keyboard for poly’s which are far away from main desk (via the MPC)
• MPC would control all poly synths and modules so they can take advantage of large poly ability and linear sequencing. When I am using the poly’s I would clock the Octatrack with the MPC, which is honestly pretty rare.

Does this seem like an efficient set-up?

If by ‘MIDI Thru’ you are referring to the MIDI Thru ports off the synths, I would invest in a MIDI Thru unit like the Kenton, rather than daisy-chaining.

Thanks. I assume you are suggesting from a latency perspective. I’ve honestly never synced all this gear together before. I would just rotate things manually to the mpc. I assume you are suggesting this from a latency stand point.

Does anyone have experience using a old Unitor 8 without a computer for such a task? I have a old one laying around gathering dust.

You have a well organised setup.

There is no need to change it, but I would like to propose some ideas from my own experince … :wink:

  1. There is a small chance to use the MPC as master clock and forget to switch off the OT as the master. That might at least give some head scratching, until the “eureca” flashes up.

There seems to be no reason, why there has to be a theoretical clock-loop starting from MPC, via OT and back via AK. The OT can remain master at any time. I would suggest to use a midi splitter at the OT midi-out and use the clock signal to drive the MPC using the second midi input.

  1. I often use the Dark Trinity as one midi and audio unit and having only OT, AR, and AK switched on. This said, I would put the Minitaur in line with the TT303. But to make sense, it must fit to your use cases.

  2. I wouldn’t play the polys using the short keyboard of the AK only (personal preference, of cause :wink: ). This depends on my style of live playing. I like to combine high and low notes for a thick poly sound and need at least 61 keys to do this.

In my setup I use splitters and mergers. Splitters make it possible, to activate only a synth, if I use it. In your case the complete chain has to be active, if the last synth shall be used.

Mergers are fine, to make any good keyboard available to play the complete setup or record midi from there … and … I collect my patches over this merged lines too (sending syx to the computer or another storage of choice).

Your setup is quite advanced and you could also consider using a midi-matrix, if your setup is extended some day.

Latency might or might not be an issue, you’d have to see, but I was more saying it from the perspective that all your gear has to be on in order to play the synths further down the line. That may or may not be an issue for you.

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Working with two alternate sequencers will always require some care.

Does your Minitaur actually have a MIDI Thru port? You may find that a simple MIDI Thru/splitter box will be more than a convenience.

Thanks for the feedback everyone. Greatly appreciate it, a ton of useful food for thought here.

I think after some consideration, getting a midi box does make a lot of sense. I am going to try to use my ancient Unitor to work this out. I’ll report back soon with how this works out.