Is the octatrack overrated?

I feel very comfortable with my setup.
DT + DT, a mixer with different external FX, different synths that are always changed per song, don’t perform live, don’t need a fixed setup
the analog heat masters the whole thing
I keep hearing and seeing that I am still missing the Octatrack.
The scene function would be great …
The more and more I deal with it, the further away I get away from the idea of including it in my setup.
Currently I’m quickly creating a new project, rerouting the audio, setting midi channels and plugging everything in, it doesn’t take 5-10 minutes
on the other hand with the Octatrack … templates, okay, but they always fit the new project, don’t think so

did any of you have the same thoughts and how did you decide?

Nah OT is the shit but anything you build up in your mind will be disappointing once you get it. Just buy one on 30 day return and give it a go, hate it and send it back. The only answer really


It’s one of the most versatile pieces of gear available. Swiss army knife, you can set it up according to your needs and it can perform many tasks and roles in a setup, from midi controller to sampler to looper to performance mixer to multi FX box. It’s not overrated, but I don’t think it’s really a must have for anyone. You can have a nice setup without it, but still it brings so much utility features to any setup that it’s worth buying even if you think you have a great setup.


It tends to get criticized more than most so i’d say underated.


That’s your answer right there.
Don’t buy things because others tell you you need them, buy them because it fills a role you need.


it means operating the device in a completely different way.
I think it’s great with DT + DN, the difference can’t be that big, right?

testing it will really be the best solution.
I just don’t want to lose myself in endless adjustment work.
at the moment i switch on and can start immediately, i have never felt so free while making music, i love it

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Stay with your setup, ot is far from immediate…


It does many things well, and has a few unique features. However, because of the fixed track count, it can’t perform all its roles at the same time. It needs time and practice to get comfy configuring it for its role, and for performing its role.

When I’m using mine as a mixer + sequencer, I spend a while setting it up. Then I have several days when it’s “power on and go”. Then I want to work with it a different way, so I reconfigure.

If you make a few Projects set up for different roles, loading the project (or copying & loading) is fairly quick, and then you’re off.

The “long” part is learning its ways, and practicing so you’re quick. But your DAW or your guitar probably took you a similar time to get “useful”.


I can set it up for a few roles, like a midi controller or a performance mixer in a matter of minutes. Setting up flex tracks and sampling in general takes a while longer, but no more than like 10-15 minutes. After that it’s as immediate as a Digitakt. You just have more options for set up, but it doesn’t need like constant maintenance.


I used to have the problem of always starting new projects but never completing one.
currently I have set myself the rule to have a maximum of 5 open projects, here if one track is annoying or I can’t get any further, I can jump to the next one and continue there.
With this system, I am making very good and effective progress.
remembers from earlier when i worked with ableton as well as many different synths were in use that at some point a blockage comes when making music is just a hobby.
Of course, this looks completely different with someone who has a lot of time or can often work for several hours at a time.
As an example: before I have to go, I have 20 minutes to start the machines, program OHH and CHH, a little modulation, save, done. continue in the evening continue for 1-2h. etc.

my fear is that the octa will block me in precisely this process
maybe a minimal setup is better for me, as much as I would like to have the octa, especially for its scene function


If you don’t have a specific reason you need an Octatrack then you don’t need one.

‘Is it overrated?’ is a strange question to find out if you should get one or not.
People who’ve sold it might say it’s overrated. People who use it might say it’s underrated. Neither makes any real difference to you.

I have an OT… I started the ‘uninspired by the OT’ thread, based on my experience of it.
I’ve since had/got it set up as a mixer in the ‘trinity’ role with my AR:A4… it’s starting to sink in for me as a performance tool now, and I’m starting to feel more at home with it (and appreciate it) whilst knowing I’m barely scratching the surface.
Using the mixing/scenes with live inputs is starting to make me see the power of it if I had samples in there to manipulate, so that’ll be next for me, and I think this is my personal route into the OT.
It’s so versatile that it seems everyone’s approach to it has to be personal to make it work.


I don’t think this is true at all. It is just as immediate as any Elektron box once you learn how to use it and set it up for a specific purpose. I don’t really even need to look at the screen to do many things anymore.

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I agree with you, but as you said above, it needs some learning and prepearing and because of that and all the possibilities, for me, it is more complex than a model:cycles for exampe. Especially in the context of the simplicity / fixed role of the current setup of @GiantSuperCell

Maybe my statement was a bit exaggerated

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Great, why ask about the OT anyway?

IMO nobody needs a particular piece of gear to create great music. Gear is like tools. If you are not about to drive a nail in the wall, why get a hammer?


Well the OP has two Digitakts, and while a DT is easier to learn than the OT it’s still far from simple compared to the Model series. An Octatrack, once you get over the initial bump feels very much like a Digitakt to me, just has a lot more features.


thank you guys, that’s a lot and especially good information.

This analogy doesn’t work. The OT is not really for any specific purpose, it’s so versatile that it can fit in basically any setup. If you want a specific instrument like a monosynth for bass, get a monosynth for bass. If you want a box that works as a midi controller, looper, sampler, drum machine, performance mixer or any combination of the above, get an Octatrack. There’s nothing quite like it.


I dare to disagree … the OT is a tool … also as a “multi-tool” like a swiss army knife, it focuses on a couple of particular purposes.

If somebody is not interested in sampling, sound mangling, and particularly p-locking, but wants some midi-sequencing and/or mixing of a small set of four inputs only, there are so many more affordable ways to do it, whithout the hassle to get ones head around an OT. IMO it would be a waste of money and learning time.

But there is nothing wrong in buying a big truck to transport a bottle of wine … it’s everybody’s own decision :wink:


I’d like to know what other gear gives you both midi sequencing with a deep a sequencer as Elektron’s as well as a 4-channel mixer with two FX per channel and scenes with a crossfader. And for cheaper than what an OT mk. 1 goes used, so 600 euros.

Not to mention it’s also one of the deepest samplers on the market, even if you’re not interested in that.


That’s not in question.

But if somebody doesn’t need this, because the setup already has two Elektron boxes, a mixer, an Analog Heat, doesn’t need the FX etc. … you get the idea?

Let me just a little exaggerate … because a Ferrari fits in my garage is no reason to buy one :wink:

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