Is it really worth it?

Im a big elektron fan, i have or have tried:
Digitakt, Digitone, Machinedrum, monomachine and analog 4.
My question is, is it really worth it to get and learn to use an octatrack?
I have the feeling that it will be more worth to invest the amount of time that is needed to learn the octatrack into learning a better use of ableton. Maybe with push?
On the other hand i really, really like every single product that i tried from elektron, i know already about the “elektron workflow”, and i think i like the idea of the octatrack but i dont know if i can convince myself into making the dollars and the time into it over something else.
Can it at least replace my digitakt?
What are your thoughts?

I’m in a similar quandary about whether to cook dinner or just order another pizza in.


Depends what you want to do with it.
I’m just over 6 months into life with an Octatrack (as a replacement for my Digitakt).
There are days when I just want to box it up and sell the bastard, but then there are days when I discover something genuinely awesome within it.

If you have the time to invest in learning it, go for it.



The answer is always pizza


My only complaint about the OT is samples aren’t the real thing. I just use mine as a mixer.

If you prefer using Ableton, you can do FAR more with that. I don’t actually think there’s anything the OT can do that Ableton and a decent controller can’t tbh (someone correct me if that’s not the case?).

Saying that, the OT is great in a live/hardware setup and does a great job of replicating a laptop as a hub (I have a phobia of ever using a laptop in a live situation, I’ve seen and had far too many issues to ever risk it myself).
It also entirely depends on what you want to do with it - it covers a lot of the ground that the DT does, but goes way further. Although I actually prefer using the DT for beats/synth sounds and midi sequencing currently while keeping the OT for loops and processing. Not sure if it’s easier or just because I know it better so I find it quicker.


I definitely think its worth it.
ive never played an instrument that has its capabilities and i keep having moments with it where i understand it more and that feeling is rather amazing.
But i decided, right up front, that i was going to spend several years learning it.
If you dont have the time or dedication to give it what it needs, then dont do it.
And while it can replace your Digitakt, keep your Digitakt. its so nice to have the Octatrack free from drum duties and give that over to the Digitakt.


I dont think it is. I’ve bought and sold it 3 times now. There are a lot of other boxes that do most of the things the OT does but a lot easier without having to have to think about it so much with the OT and better in many regards. I love the sample mangling but that is just about it…not worth that price IMO.


Buy a Rytm! :wink:


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There may be other boxes that can do what the OT can do, but none that can do everything it can do.

That said it isn’t the ultimate “everything” box, but it is a very nice sandbox for playing around with samples in realtime, capturing very accurate synced loops, precise and direct modulation of samples, a mixer, etc etc.

I think it is a very nice production piece too, but some people would disagree.


If there is another way to live record a loop of incoming audio from other hardware, and quickly slice, manipulate, and rearrange the loop, and mix it back with the live audio…
I’m sure it can be done with the right combo of Live and a controller or two, but the speed at which all those things can be done in quick succession on the OT , plus the ultra low latency that the hardware solution affords — keeps me owning a pair of OTs


I think if you’re curious about the Octatrack, really the only way to know if it’s for you is to buy one and spend at least a year with it. It’s a deep instrument, full of possibilities. It’s perhaps less immediately rewarding than other gear, but for those who achieve a certain level of mastery, it’s irreplaceable.


If it’s true that the OT is a kind of epitome of Elektron mentality, then that’s a good sign you’ll enjoy it.

I had the AR before the OT and I think this helped me a lot in the supposed “steep learning curve” because I never suffered as others have.

In my opinion, yes. What you will lose in immediacy you will gain in opportunity.


Its a tricky one. The OT isnt like other equipment so its harder to say yes/no as its very subjective. Try it. Its the only way you will know.


I think there will be many opinions on this one. I would say yes. If you have curious mind and enjoy having a box that always has something to offer. But, if you are looking for something that you don’t need to read the manual, that just makes music out of the box. This is not the machine. There are many simplistic groove boxes that have this approach.
The Octatrack is an instrument, that requires practice-lots of practice. Once you put in the work the rewards are one hundred fold. It is the one box I own that I feel has almost no limitations. If I have a concept I want to do with electronic music, I can do it on my OT.
There is a time when it clicks. I think it was like a year and a half for me. It is a bumpy ride tho. I think I enjoy challenges, so it worked out for me.


I fully acknowledge how awesome the OT is I’m just more into synthesis than samples. So I use mine as a mixer, FX unit and sequencer.

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Yes it can. Easily.

The question ’ is it worth it?’ Is a weird one. Since we cant see into the future. You can only answer the question retrospectively.

So maybe rather ask yourself, why do you want an octatrack? Thats a much better question in my opinion.

(As a side note, Ive been playing the octatrack for 6 years now. Always discovering new things with it. A few months ago I bought a digitakt, to use as a drum machine. Even after the update, I have decided to sell the Digitakt. For me, it isnt worth keeping, I can do everything it does with the OT ( plus way more obviously), and I just dont gel with the DT like I do with my other gear. So was it worth buying? Well, now I know I dont want it, so I gained some knowledge)


ime OT is best when you forget that you have it and just use your other gear but one day you remember that you have it and you say to yourself “hey! I could use OT for that particular idea/situation! It’s good that i have it!”


Do you like reading manuals ? Do you enjoy convoluted shortcuts cheat sheets ? Do you like arbitrary limits to “get creative” (aka jump hoops) ? Enjoy having different tools that are somewhat similar but not quite and for which differences are hidden behind funny Elektron speech ? You will love it.

Can it at least replace my digitakt?

Yes it can (for the most part). No you shouldn’t.

Where it’s unmatched: grab and mangle audio in realtime. For pretty much anything else there are better/easier solutions.