Noob question: recording OT into DAW - what do I need?

I would like to record my jam sessions in the OT straight to Ableton. How do i do this? What extra gear would I need? I should also add that I have a scarlett 2i2, if that’s of any help in answering this question.

I guess I should also ask, if I want to scale up my hardware at any point - add other Elektron devices, for example, to the mix - what hardware would be necessary to accommodate that, while still keeping Ableton at the center of it all?

Thanks very much for any and all answers.


A sound card and a couple of cables.

If your sound card has multiple outputs you can set your Octatrack to work on studio mode. This way you can use the Aux outs as separate outputs, and depending on the kind of work you are doing this could improve your possibilities on post production. For example if you have your Kick and Bass on separated tracks it could be a smart idea (or not) to have them separately on Ableton, so you can process/mix them later.

Also depending on what are you doing you could record MIDI. This way you can correct mistakes and after if you want, record all channels separately on different takes. But there are some actions that won´t be recorded as MIDI, for example a “Reload Action”, internal sampling, etc.

My “do it quick” advice is: record it all at once, record it 3 or 4 times, then pick the best parts. :slight_smile:

EDIT: the scarlet 2i2 has no multiple inputs. If you add an extra device you can route it through the Inputs of the OT.

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Thank you! I think I understand what you are saying, but I have a couple of questions. When you say “if your sound card has multiple outputs…” i can use the OT in studio mode, do you mean multiple inputs? so that I can route the main and aux outs of the OT into the multiple inputs of the sound card? Also, sorry for asking such a stupid question, but the scarlett 2i2 is a sound card, is it not? but as you say, it doesn’t have multiple inputs, so i can’t run the OT through it when on studio mode, nor can i run other devices through it.

Am I on the right track with all of that? if the scarlett 2i2 is not a sound card, can you recommend one? thank you very much for your help, gbravetti! :slight_smile:

Indeed I meant "multiple inputs"sorry.

I think that the best you can do is to consider if your material will benefit from multichannel takes. If you work with full loops samples for example, it could not be the case.

In my case I have Sound cards with lot of inputs but I found that most of the times I can achieve a sound that doesn’t need to be recorded using multiple takes. I feed my RYTM on the ab input and the rest of my synths on the cd input . I use the ot as mix and pre mastering unit,i care on the mix the maximum possible so there is not too much post production work

Anyway I use a motu ultra lite as mix compressor/limiter for my synths and another one as a live eq compressor limiter for the main outputs. This way I sound live pretty close to in Studio.

Multi track recording could be time consuming anyway, sometimes it worth, sometimes mixing on the ot and using its compressor as mastering is enough.

Thanks so much for taking the time to explain your routing and the thinking behind it. Aside from the fact that I don’t have the hardware to work without the computer like you do, I don’t think I’m at the point where I can trust myself to mix without a DAW!

You’ve been very generous in answering me, and I sincerely appreciate it. I think I understand your routing, but could you please confirm this for me?

Rytm -> 1st Motu ultra lite -> AB input on OT
other synths -> 1st Motu ultra lite -> CD input on OT

Main outputs of OT -> 2nd motu ultra lite -> computer?

All Synths to UL2 then to OT CD (my Synths uses all inputs that’s why I have a second UL)
RYTM to UL 1 then to OT AB
COMPUTER stuff ( vocoder etc) goes too UL 1 to main out and there is the possibility to route to OT for sampling, but usually it goes directly to main out
Then OT to UL1 to MAIN OUT

All is compressed per channel and per Group on the ultra lites s

Gotcha. Thanks for your time and help!


i expect the answer involves “spend lots of time exploring for yourself” :slight_smile: but i’d be curious to know how you set up your UL to do this for you at gigs. i have one as well that i use exclusively in the studio, where it works just fine for recording. but if i could use it in a live setting it would save me from needing a lot of far larger outboard gear.

the manual mentions the UL’s standalone capabilities but i never found the manual terribly comprehensible :dizzy_face:


i expect the answer involves “spend lots of time exploring for yourself” :slight_smile: but i’d be curious to know how you set up your UL to do this for you at gigs. i have one as well that i use exclusively in the studio, where it works just fine for recording. but if i could use it in a live setting it would save me from needing a lot of far larger outboard gear.

the manual mentions the UL’s standalone capabilities but i never found the manual terribly comprehensible :dizzy_face: [/quote]
Indeed, the idea is to use the Ultralites as a standalone mixer, and especially their compressor /limiter per channel feature. You can compress/limit each input, then mix them on a group and add a bit more of compress/limiter on that group before to feed it to the OT, this way you can worry a bit less on controlling peaks when modulating synths parameters. Then the OT output can be compress limited eq on the ultralite prior to send it to the PA


Hey man, truth is there are many ways to set up your studio to record any Elektron hardware into your DAW of choice.

Whilst I agree with gbravetti and think his setup with the UL is awesome (I used to own an UL), i would recommend you start off by just using the simplest method which is just to record your OT outs.

This way you can get comfortable recording audio into your DAW and can apply the same steps going forward with any bit of hardware you own in the future. The only thing you require is an audio interface (soundcard) with 2 inputs (L+R).

For Ableton specific do the following:

  1. Connect OT outputs to your soundcard inputs.

  2. Open up a new project in Live and delete all unwanted Midi & Audio tracks

  3. Leave 1 Audio track in Live, and go into preferences.

  4. Make sure in preferences under Audio, that you select your soundcard and ensure that your inputs are selected and enabled. (This allows Live to “listen” for incoming signals).

  5. In the project, ensure you have set the BPM of Live to match the tempo on the OT.

  6. Record arm the track in Ableton and make sure in the Audio From selection you have source from Ext. In selected and right below that the channels you are recording from.

  7. Set Monitor to In and hit play on your OT.

You will notice that sound is now coming in through that channel. What I do next is Deactivate the Audio track so that I dont hear feedback (else you hear the OT twice)

Now if you hit record on the transport button, and then press play on the OT, you will notice that you are recording your session in the Arrangement view.

You may need to adjust the volumes to ensure no clipping (usually however the OT outputs are too weak so you may want to jack up the Input gain on your soundcard).

In any case, I recommend leaving enough headroom (ie it doesnt matter if it sounds a bit low) as you can then use Live’s effects to further process the sound.

Hope this helps!

Have fun.


Agree with Niko, and also I want to add:

Don’t use SYNC.

If you set Ableton as Slave it will add a lot of warp markers on your audio, if you set OT as slave you will have some tempo fluctuations.

The best procedure as Niko said is to set Ableton at the same bpm you have on your OT.

For long samples and because clocks aren’t exactly the same, it would be very small differences on the recorded sample’s Tempo. If you plan to use this audio inside Ableton, it would be a good practice to slightly adjust your warp marker’s tempo to correct this small difference.

Remember that Elektron’s clock will produce a very stable timing, because of this you will need just one warp marker on your audio Clip to have it perfectly synced. A reference at the beginning and at the end of your sample will help on this. Use a tight sample like a closed hat or just turn on a bit of OT’s metro at the beginning and at the end of your recording.

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I just deleted 3 paragraphs of waffle.

Now I will now try and keep it simple.

Is there a way to record the 8 audio tracks to ableton from OT independently and simultaneously? If that makes sense. I can’t imagine there is from my little knowledge. Or if you wanted to record the 8 tracks from OT to LIVE would you do it in 8 separate recordings if you wanted the tracks split.

I had to ask. Not tried it yet as I’m focusing the time I gave solely with OT. I’ve only had it a few days.


Theres only 4 outs. So you can’t send out more than 4 tracks simultaneously. Yeah, you have to record things seperately. You could just sample everything internally though and just load the files up into ableton.


Yep. Recording 8 stereo tracks simultaneously is possible. 1m03s max (8m28s max for 1 track).


Good to know, Thanks

Would panning not help fix that? Haven’t tried it with the OT but that trick works on the MnM