Make a 30 minute mixtape with no preps

… how do i do this?

gear: OT, MD, se02, OB6, Doepfer Pocket Fader with 8 of the 16 sliders assigned to the 8 track levels.

synced qy700 for midi sequencing the se02 or the ob6.

i work in monaural with one genelec speaker, and so shall send the other Main Output to a mono input of my soundcard and capture with Ableton. not synced although it could be but it doesnt need to be.

track 8 is master fx.

MD is going to be master tempo transport in order to maintain articulated swing values.

tempo is 82-98bpm

mostly using samples from the Drums of Asgard.

perhaps the first thing i should not do is post a question on the forum about it?

i’m just thinking there is something i am forgetting.

well, the content …

but if the drums are cool, then yay that’s a start.

maybe i should put a Echo Freeze delay effect on the Master fx Track 8 and control it with the other free Doepfer faders, for buildups?

Just make the music man, you’re over thinking it haha. You’ve got the gear, there’s a million ways to go about doing it. Figure out a genre or general sound you want to aim for, give yourself a number of tracks you want to make and go for it. Continuous or separate tracks? Think about what vibe you want to give off, throw some drums together, bass, melody. Conceptualize what you want before doing it for an easier time or just jam for your first track and go from there


Ha yeah got to agree with this.

Im doing something similar with my OT. Been really enjoying sampling my old shitty vinyls and chopping them. Realised I have a project that is on it’s way to being a nice little set so aiming to work towards a 30 minute mixtape but with prep!

Like @jb asks, think about continuous vs separate tracks. I’m aiming for mine to flow but having built all my little tracks in isolation it’s easier said than done!

But yeah, just get stuck in. You’re like a painter with only the vaguest instructions to follow - let your imagination take you wherever!


very cool … yes, continuous and yet the genre is broken beats.

went through 30 Banks on the MD and chose the sounds that feel good and also for the most part re-pitch while maintaining quality, as i do a fair bit of that and some samples don’t respond enjoyably, some do.

hmmm what vibe do i want to give off?
good question!
i was going to ironically ask you guys what vibe is given by a tempo limitation of 82-98 bpm …

simple syncopated sparse riffs … then a “flourish”, here or there.

a tension build after five minutes of repetition variations, to a new sections.

bass synth se02, chords from ob6.

just remembered the qy700 doesn’t realtime start/stop midi recording, so it won’t be part of the equation. i will use the OT’s midi sequencer with tracks for se02 on channel 14 and tracks for ob6 on channel 15 …

change se02 to receive on 15 if the bass part sounds better with two synths (often does).

will do the sequence playing with the OT Trig keys and also xox sequence in some fixes or just more notes.

won’t be any 3rd party content.

might though use the Prosoniq Vocoder from ableton, with a cheap dynamic microphone. use headphones to monitor the sound coming into the OT from that, capture some then sequence a few syllables.

i will think further about what the vibe for the 30 minute mix is …

somehow, it could be rapped to if the mix were on the radio and homies are listening while relaxing on a Sunday evening… or if performed at a venue, patrons could drink at outside tables and enjoy the vibe. and occasionally, maybe four or five times over the 30 minutes, go … “yeah!”

That’s how I like to work, clearly separate tracks but still having a flow between them. I love OT for chopping vinyl, you can use it in some unique ways. I like to put a long sample onto a track and assign the start point at 0 to scene A and 127 to scene B. Throw a bunch of trigs down and put some drums on another track. Press play and wiggle the faded, instant hip hop machine. Then record the output of that track on another track with a recorder trig. If it’s shit rearm and try again, makes some chops you might not think to otherwise.

I like to assign start points to scenes aswell and keep the fader on one side then while it’s playing just hold the scene A button and switch between scenes between the playhead hitting trigs. Simple fun. OT is a slept on hip hop machine

@previewlounge youre still overthinking it, get workin!


cool … just realised i got the nomenclature incorrect … rather than a mixtape, this is a 30 minute original mix made on the fly.

yup, i’m thinking too much about it.

currently capturing the selected drum samples from the 30 MD SoundBanks.

hoping to make 3 Machinedrum Kits and use each one in each of the the ten minute brackets.

And there i go once again … inordinate amount of thinking.

Doing the sample selection was fully worthwhile though.

simple fun with a complex explanation … love it! just realised how cool this is for utilising the 16 Scene options in such a valuably creative, modular way, without all the fun/glitch/tweak potentiality getting in the way of regular play.

Scenes are possibly the feature i least use, but now, possibly my go-to technique for live-play audio enjoyment.

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Some wisdom I heard today:

“Finished is better than perfect”


Story of my life right there :tired_face:


I’ve given up on perfection a LONG time ago. :smiley:


Spend many years making mistakes and think deeply about what you want to say, then press record.

Unless your into techno

That’s the kinda ‘wisdom’ that put this planet in the state it’s in.

It’s not an absolute Munro. Just something I heard yesterday that gave me a different perspective. :roll_eyes:

Finishing something allows you to assess it and improve on it next time.


When it comes to saving the world it might not be the best wisdom, but when it comes to making music it’s def wisdom.

Actually shit… is it better to finish saving the world or perfect the plan to save the world? I say go for it! It will never be perfect!

I made music everyday for like 2 & a half years & didn’t have a finished beat/song. Everyday. Nothing finished. Had over 1,000 ideas, but not a single finished song. Perfection being 1 of the issues. So I joined a beat battle. I posted in the battle thread that I was going to submit something, so I wouldn’t back out. & once I submitted the beat it felt SOOO good. I’ll admit I didn’t “finish” it & wish I put more into it (that perfectionism not letting go), but I put the done stamp on it & posted it online, which was huge for me. Since then, which was less than 5 months ago I have been in 10 battles, the last battle was a mix marathon battle (just posted it today), which included 11 beats. Which means I went from not a single finished song in 2 & a half years to finishing 24 in less than 5 months (I also posted a few side beats).

Too be honest I’m not happy with the mix, but I AM happy with a lot of the beats in the mix, I’m proud that I finished it & it’s crazy how much I learned from doing it. All which can go towards the next mix…same with finishing songs. The only way you will get good at it, the only way you’ll gain that skill & knowledge is finishing it.


Hey PL,
Will you be doing this in front of an audience or what is this for?
& how much experience do you have with this type of thing (no prep mixes)?

You might be way ahead of me, but I thought I would throw a few things out there as this is something I would like to do myself & these are the things that come to mind for me –

  1. I would def set everything up & try it out just to make sure everything works the same as in your head. So many reasons this would be beneficial, you’ll know the best place to put everything & if anything needs to be changed. I would even make a quick no prep beat to get a feel for the set up.
  2. I like the idea of the echo freeze delay for build ups, not sure if you have other effects as well, you mentioned master fx, if this is Ableton not sure if you can play with the effects thru out the mix, but some type of effects box you can play with here & there to add variation would be nice (I’d use a KP3+, it’s great for playing live & it’s a lot of fun, but even just the echo freeze delay would be good).
  3. Not sure how extreme the no prep rule is, but I would have some notes & stuff to help, like where all the different sounds are, labels on your Pocket Fader stating what is plugged in to what channel, ect, ect.
  4. Some vocals would be cool to help transition things as well, maybe even all vocals from the same place to make things flow nicely (&/or your own vocals). Personally I would have a turntable for simple scratches & vocals (you can have the vocals in your OT instead), for example, I have 1 record from the early 70’s narrated by Robert Redford & he talks about wolves thru out the whole record……it’s awesome. I want to use it for a themed mix. You can pick out vocals & put them in the order that would make sense (tell a story), then just use them when needed.

edit: forgot to mention i was inspired by your beat-battle entry having such a motivating influence!


Redford’s voice is so listenable.

Vinyl is fabulous although i don’t have a turntable these days.

I was listening to a couple of dj mixes recently and although the dj name was different, they titled each mix “In The Mood” with a 001 numbering system or something similar.

and that really is the key … being in the mood to mix.
or, using the work of creating a mix to generate an enjoyable or interested mood.

after five days of intense work preparing the mix, I generated an entire ecosystem of a new, two-letter articulated naming system for the wide variety of sample types within the genres of bassdrum, snare, clap, hihat, and so forth.

but the mix was still not ready for 30 minutes.

so instead of doing that i suppose, went to a local talent night, they have a quality sound system … and played a live gig - tonight - and as regards the idea of “mood”, it became quite clear how one song was in fact a winner, and the second song had a range of issues.

the previous plan of the “no-prep” mix idea was rather extreme, i don’t think i’m ready for that.

recently started thinking that maybe the Octatrack is just too much audio-production-power for one individual to have access to, but there again is the nonsensical extreme thinking.

anyway, played Machinedrum and se02 at the gig, it was cool.
would certainly like to use that combo in future, depending on the mood.
it’s more sparse than the Octatrack’s allows potential for.
as the Machinedrum is playing directly to the p.a. system, the creativity and immediate energy is more obvious.
neither scenario is “better”, just different.

i guess the only rule is that i won’t use a computer for performance or a live recording.
enjoy using computer for preps and such like.
the no-prep rule is a pipedream, although it certainly was valuable as a thought experiment.

used some vocals in the Machinedrum 2-song gig tonight.
prepped them in Audacity yesterday.
syllables from vocal exports from Ableton a week ago, they had enjoyable harmony applied by a vocoder (but not the robotic vocoder sound, it was the lush chorus/reverb string type of vocoder).

those syllable samples certainly were invaluable. just a few.
combined with the drum here and there, very tight, very pro vibe and creative.

also programmed a corny 90’s snare fill it sent the crowd wild.
perhaps that is an overstatement although it really did somehow make for a contrasting dynamic, just the snare for a bar, nothing else.

two things i learned from the gig - if the second song is in the same key as the first song, don’t play it slower than the first song, if anything play it a few bpm quicker.

and don’t talk for more than ten seconds between tracks.
even if the quality microphone makes for a resonant charismatic tonality over the sound system.
i believe there is a technique of introducing a song, to subtly vibe the crowd up for it, and although i don’t know how to do it, seems that it requires detecting the “tempo” of the room, and interacting with that every so briefly.

being in the mood to mix or work in the studio is one thing, but it seems that i need to play gigs, even if they are 2-song gigs for now.
the deeply valuable experience of comprehending the mood in the room and the mood response to the currently playing track is quite another scenario.

experience and practise as always do help for a valuable contribution of a gig experience.

also, with a genre of broken beats and a bpm range of 82-98bpm, it kind of is pretty okay to not have a continual smooth transitioning from song-to-song.

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yes, that is a pretty cool effect for looping sections of the mix without sampling the mix.

“master fx” is what the manual refers to, when Track 8 of the Octatrack is selected to be an fx channel for the entire mix, rather than a playback track.

totally enjoyed the re-tuned bassdrums and experimental/fun vibes with the Machinedrum, played some more after the gig at home, although now my ears need the accurate everything-in-tune-correctly vibe, going to start playing the Octatrack again.

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All too common with OT, i think it’s the proprietary terminology. Makes everything sound like a complicated science experiment. Glad you found it useful :thup: