Machines, Parts, Banks and Pattern on Trinity


After some time with the A4 and the AR, I got the Octatrack now and am wondering about how you organize your Trinity setup. I was planning the following before I got the Octatrack to somehow get started:

  • 16 prepared patterns each a different beat/song on AR
  • 16 prepared patterns each different sounds and sequences on the A4
  • 16 prepared banks each containing inputs for A4/AR + FX shots for nice transitions

…and now I started diving into the Octatrack’s capabilities and am thinking: What a waste… :slight_smile:

So after I prepared the A4 and AR over the past months, I’m of course programming beats with the Octatrack now, hooked up my Blofeld, and programmed/recorded some sound sequences on top, copied them over to the next part, willing to merge them into sliced loops next of with different variations to free up tracks for inputs, master, FX shots, etc., then I would move on to the next part, merge variations if necessary and so on. On that way I could change all drum instruments individually afterwards (if something is too loud) and recreate the particular loop.

The end result is that I kept using the 16 banks (1 per song) while I’m planning to use only one track for FX shots now which should be ok. So my machine per track setup on the OT is ending up as something like this now:

  • T1: Flex Input A/B->AR

  • T5: Flex Input C/D->A4

  • T2: Static Kickdrum

  • T3: Static Bassline

  • T4: Flex Sliced Drumloop (hats, claps, etc)

  • T6: Flex Recorded Synth sequence

  • T7: FX shots

  • T8: Master

  • On the A4 I’m planning to input 2 Mono Bass Synths for improvisation

  • On the AR I’m planning to input the Blofeld for improvisation

Of course setups vary on different kind of taste and musical styles and rather than asking/following up on those questions in individual threads, I’m not only interested in how you organising your Banks, Patterns, Parts and Machines/Track but also how you’re putting it all together with other synths?

Thanks a lot!


Looks very organized and planned out! I run a trinity as well, but not an expert or anything. My only suggestion would be to approach the setup with a bit more flexibility, organizing your track assignments as required by the piece of music you’re working on at a given moment, rather than pre-plotting them all. I’m not totally disorganized though. I still write my set chronologically through each bank and at least start with a setup of one part per four patterns. I just try to avoid setting myself up for hypothetical situations and instead focus on how to make a given pattern work and how to transition in and out of it.

As for my setup, I run everything into a mixer and then send stereo mixes to A4 effects and Octatrack AB/CD. This gives me a lot of flexibility to send anything anywhere without repatching anything. My other synths are a Slim Phatty (CV sequenced) and a Futuresonus Parva. (OT sequenced).

Nice setup. I use something similar yet simpler. I have OT running the clock and start/stop on the Rytm and A4. One bank per track for each song - for each unit.

I have just the bacic patches n patterns on the A4 and Rytm which I more or less play live. The OT tracks 3-7 run bass and synth loops over top.


Moving away from my particular scheme and changing machines according to what ever a particular song requires might be naturally happening. On the AR it happaned :grinning: and I‘m usinge chords as well as bass samples too and I was sometimes not able to keep my scheme, which makes me think of preparing patterns instead of muting unmuting. Add the end workflow and whatever helps my creativity wins :smile:

Never heared about the Futuresonus Parva. Thanks for sharing!

Yeah I tend to gravitate toward setting up a very controlled environment in my initial approach to almost any new skill. I don’t think it’s necessarily a flaw, as I learn a lot in this stage. As I gain competence, however, I always find more value in a more open-ended approach where I use the skills and tools available to address situations and problems as they present themselves.
It’s tempting to want to nail down everything at once and eliminate areas of uncertainty when getting started. As I progress and learn the component skills needed to problem solve, I lose that drive to eliminate uncertainty and simply count on my abilities and tools.

The Parva is awesome!


i use the silver elektrons in my OT-based trinity, but there’s enough overlap generally that this might help.

before i get into specifics, it’s good that you’re willing to continuously rethink how you’re using each of the three instruments. all elektrons have a lot of flexibility and overlapping capabilities, so you will likely find more ways to use them together as you explore. keep your mind open, it will pay dividends :wink:

regarding OT track organization: i find it most intuitive personally to keep all my “sequenced” tracks (kick, bassline, etc) on T1-4 and my input/processing on T5-8. (i don’t always use track effects to process my md/mnm but they’re on T5/6 when i do, with T7 as a recorder sampling the main outs and T8 master.) the advantage to doing it your way is that if you ever want to add additional processing to your ar/a4 you have more tracks located under T1/5 you can potentially use as neibor machines, making for longer fx chains.

once you get into loop sampling, trig locks and track remixing (plus the arranger if that’s your thing), you may not need all 16 patterns for a given song. depends on how loopy your work is and how much you can pull off with live tweaks. i find i can get a lot of variation out of scene changes and live muting/cuing, especially since i’ve got two other elektrons i can tweak as well. this gives me quite a few more songs per project, usually 3-4 per OT bank.

i choose not to link my OT patterns to specific md/mnm patterns via midi prog change because i move data around too much, and iirc i’ve heard this doesn’t work flawlessly anyway (someone will no doubt update me on esp. wrt the dark trinity). i prefer a paper cheat sheet … tells me a good place to start but lets me improvise without being too tied to an arrangement.

hope this helps :slight_smile:

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Once I got all three, I tried simplifying each one as much as possible by trying to keep each box doing their dedicated tasks. A4 for melodies, basslines, atmoshpere. AR for drums. OT for mixing, FX and mild re-sampling.
I do try and plan/lockdown some things just to help with muscle memory, like OT scenes I have worked on over time I use across all projects.
I started making an initialize project on the OT as a starting point.
After a while I have really dialed in a specific way I run the Trinity.
This first Initialize project, has AR and A4 going into the OT.
Tracks 1-4 are Thru and Neighbors for the AR.
Tracks 5,6 are for the A4, Thru and Neighbor.
Track 7 samples
Track 8 Master
I’ve made a lot of tracks this way, and save them out as their own project.
While dialing in those tracks, creating scenes, tweaking compression etc, if I come up with things I really like and want to use across multiple projects, I’ll port them to the Initialize project.
Over time I have wanted to try different concepts, so I’ll make a new initialize project and work it out over time in the same manner.
This Initialize project thing I also apply to the A4 and AR it’s just simpler.
I save a lot of sounds, then kits. Saving sounds on the AR that use samples keeps things cohesive across projects where the samples are being sourced from the +drive not the RAM.
On the AR I sometimes port kits I’ve made on some song back to the Initialize project.
This way when I start a new project, I can resource all the kits I’ve made.

Like others, I try and treat banks like songs, however, some songs only need one or two patterns while others use 2 banks full of patterns. This just helps me stay organized visually.
I only use Parts if absolutely necessary for some reason.

Although I tried sticking to each box having a dedicated task, I eventually came to some realizations.
The AR makes monster basslines with cycle samples. If I cant get the bass I want out of the A4, I’ll use the AR instead, or use the AR to layer a bass line with the A4, BOOM!
Sometimes I’ll want to use the OT for more sample tracks, but I dont wanna sacrifice a Neighbor track, so I’ll use the AR instead. I rarely use all the pads on the AR.

For external gear, if it’s got CV in, I’ll sequence it with the AR, if not I’ll use an OT midi track.
Pending on the device, I’ll run audio into the A4 or AR.


Thanks for your input guys!
@JuanSOLO How are you creating a decent bass on the AR?

I’d say single cycle wave samples, but not all of then are single cycles.

I see, got it.