New octatrack user/noobie questions

Hey all -

I’m a hip hop producer who recently purchased an AK and was so impressed that I got an OT to be my sampling station. My question is this - I’m having trouble figuring out how to get the OT to figure out what the BPM of my imports are or how to slap it into a one/two/four bar loop. Is there a way to drop a phase into the box and have it analyze the bpm? I did some thinking on it and my best plan of action seems to be this -

sample from turntable into laptop
cut them in audacity
edit pitch and time stretch to desired BMP in abelton
drop to OT from abelton
go from there.

this seems to give me the most freedom to stay out of the box as much as possible and then jump in running. Am I working too hard? is there an easier way to do this? I love the workflow but I tend to get lost easily but like I said, I learned the AK in a matter of a month of grinding and now I’m good so I know there’s a learning curve. Any takers? Thanks guys.


Welcome onboard :slight_smile:

Your workflow is efficient … my only suggestion would be to record directly into Ableton and skip audacity. Later, if you are familiar with all the OT machines, I would recommend to record directly to the OT, if you tend to work completely OTB :wink: But, this said, IMO editing audio is quite more easy ITB.

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For clean loops I don’t remember having trouble just telling OT how many bars the loop is and then having timestrech switched on, normally snaps drum loops etc perfect to project bpm like this. Never needed to use ITB to get a loop to work. My mem card is full of Paul Nice drum loops etc and all good. Think they preview from browser in sync too if I remember right? Obvs theres no warp markets etc tho so if a loop is sloppy you’d be better off fixing it in ableton or poss workaround using slices/resample.


Welcome, long and exciting journey ahead :slight_smile:

Why not just sample straight to the OT from your mixer? That’s all I do, it is my main sampler whether it’s from a turntable, a movie, the tv or online.

You can truncate, normalise, slice dice chop and wrap in seconds, then dump it all to your folder system that you should have already setup.

Ref: the tempo problem, this confuses me, go to the sample file page on the OT and tell it how many bars it is if it’s struggling and it’ll just sort it for you. Have a good read of the manual and help yourself to learn how it recognises files


TT -> OT

tap tempo. check with the metronome to see that you’re in the ball park.


rinse repeat.


What is this folder system of which you speak sir :cold_sweat:?

JM - sorry if I got a little too convoluted. I get everything you’re saying here and thank you for touching upon this in language I couldn’t quite articulate above - namely, how do I tell the OT how many bars a sample is in the sample file page? I’m sure it’s something simple that I don’t see.

Also, what is/ does truncate & wrap do? I’m not familiar with those terms and I’m guessing they’re in the same file page?

Hey CotV -

I asked JM the same thing but I guess what I’m not seeing is - how do I tell the OT how many bars a loop is and how do I enable time stretch along with it? I appreciate your help, I’m a huge advocate of ‘read the f’n manual’ but I find that forums and tutorials tend to work better for whatever reason in a pinch…


Haven’t used my OT in a long time (gotta fix that…), can’t remember exactly where the settings are. It’s in the sample edit pages somewhere. Go to sample edit. Then each button under screen is a different menu. It’s a page in one of those menus. Sorry can’t be more specific. Been too long… Someone else can prob be more helpful with directions.

Go to the sample edit pages, hit button 5 / fx2 and you are in the file settings page, you can then see what the OT thinks the tempo of the loop is and also its length in bars/sections of bars, simply adjust to what you want it to be and boom.

It’s in these menus that you will do all your sample mangling / slicing / editing / truncating etc, each of the 5 buttons under the screen take you to different pages.

Have you not found these yet?

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In USB mode I created my own Folder structure knowing what I’m like, I’ve got sub folders for all stuff I sample, slice etc etc so I can save it all for use at any point.

Have you not done this :fearful: it’s very easy and makes life much better


I briefly saw Cuckoo do this with an “incoming” folder but didn’t consider it. IT’S A GREAT IDEA!!

At the moment most of my samples are lying around the bottom of each audio pool looking a bit disorganised and hard to find. Thanks for the pointer!

yes i did it straight away, I knew I’d be sampling everything and anything so it made sense when transferring files from the PC to just make myself a folder with sub folders just for my destructive work :grinning:

Do it you won’t regret it

I have not. I’ve literally had the OT for 3 days and I’m trying to get up to running speed asap. Thank you for the info!!! @nooooddy CUCKOO IS GOD! @J.m I’m on that last point as well, that’s how I used to flow when I had my old sampler/software based production. THANK YOU GUYS! This forum rules.